iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to build own iDevice accessories

tim cook foxconn

Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. aka Foxconn, the world’s top assembler of consumer electronics, is mulling making and selling its own branded accessories in a move to diversify beyond assembling Apple products.

Foxconn over the years has grown increasingly reliant on Apple contract and with increasing competition and Apple’s slowing growth, the manufacturer is starting to feel the pain, too. The Apple biz comprises an estimated 50 percent of Foxconn’s revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

And earlier this month, The New York Times similarly reported that Foxconn is looking beyond the iPhone and anticipating to mass-manufacture a rumored standalone Apple television set…

The report quotes an unnamed Foxconn executive as saying:

As our production capacity has grown to such a large scale and existing major brand customers offer limited order growth, we need to actively expand our client base to help increase our manufacturing volume.

Specifically, own accessories are said to include headphones, keyboards and cables that would be reportedly compatible with Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Foxconn plans to build a six-inch phablet for Chinese TV station Hunan TV, which will come loaded with exclusive TV content. The firm is also hiring engineers for its software and content research and development center in southern Taiwan.

The goal is to “supply content for all of the devices it assembles,” according to executives familiar with Foxconn’s strategy.

The firm is even considering own retail stores to sell those products directly to customers and plans to also become a supplier of all of the components for devices it assembles.

At the same time, Apple is thought to be moving from Foxconn to its rival Pegatron, which has been building older Apple products Like the iPhone 4/4S. Industry publication DigiTimes in December said Pegatron grabbed the majority of iPad orders for the next three years.

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg last month claimed Foxconn had begun hiring tens of thousands additional workers as it gears up to manufacture Apple’s next-generation iPhones.

Foxconn last quarter saw its revenue fall nineteen percent compared with a year earlier, though net profit was up 2.9 percent. Appel for the same period reported its first year-over-year profit decline in a decade.

In addition to Apple gadgets, Foxconn also builds products for a number of well-known tech brands, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Amazon.