WSJ: Apple bringing in new suppliers to increase iPhone 5c, iPad mini production

iPad mini

Judging by the hard-to-find iPhone 5s, it’s no secret that Apple can use a little help in the production department right now. So it isn’t surprising that the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is adding two new suppliers in addition to existing supply partners Foxconn and Pegatron. Taiwan-based contract manufacturers Compal Communications and Winstron are allegedly being brought into the fold to aid in iPhone 5c and iPad mini production.

Compal Communications is said to be focusing on the iPad mini, while Winstron will handle iPhone 5c production. It isn’t clear which model of the iPad mini Compal will be focused on, though so far rumors have pointed to a short initial supply of the iPad mini with retina display, which goes on sale later this month. The original iPad mini, which is currently on sale, seems to be readily attainable. This may not help out much immediately, as the iPad mini’s supply constraints are believed to be due to retina display manufacturing shortages, rather than assembly problems.

Another reason Apple is looking for new partners is allegedly due to a strained relationship with Foxconn. Apple accounts for 40 percent of Foxconn’s yearly revenue, and Foxconn is reportedly unwilling to dedicate more production capacity to a single customer. Labor issues and manufacturing defects are also mentioned.

So while new suppliers likely won’t make a difference for Apple’s product supply this holiday season, it might mean Apple products will be easier to find on store shelves in 2014.

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