The latest bit of scuttlebutt from within Apple’s supply chain suggests that the company is going to tap two additional suppliers to produce iPhone 5c and iPad mini units as it looks to increase production as demand continues to rise. Citing people “familiar with the supply chain,” The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will tap Taiwan’s Wistron to manufacture iPhone 5c later this year, whereas it will bring Taiwan’s Compal Communications onboard early next year for manufacturing the iPad mini. There have already been a lot of rumors about iPad mini supply constraints, supply isn’t expected to improve until next year, perhaps adding a new supplier will ease up things and finally meet demand.
According to the report, Apple is looking to broaden its supplier base as its primary supplier, Foxconn, focuses on producing the iPhone 5s which too is supposedly in short supply. Furthermore, Foxconn has also been under scrutiny for its labor practices, which are apparently “creating a headache for Apple.” Apparently a disagreement was also triggered between Apple and Foxconn when high return rate for defective iPhone 5 units lead them to bicker over who would foot the bill for repair cost, says Alvin Kwock, an analyst at J.P. Morgan.
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