Apple is reportedly considering a second manufacturer for the iPad 3, as Taiwan Economic News reports. Pegatron is set to outbid Hon Hai (parent company of Foxconn) for a contract to produce the next iPad model.
Foxconn has been the major manufacturer in the production of the iPad 2, but that looks like it could change for the next iPad. Given that Apple is selling iPads as fast as they can make them, with little signs of slowing, having another manufacturer handle the iPad 3 production may be a smart move.
Two manufacturers would take the load off of Foxconn, and allow Apple to produce more iPads. It decreases the reliance on one manufacturer to make everything, as recent events have shown us is important. If something happens at the plant like an explosion or an earthquake, it can severely impact production. Two manufacturers would lessen the impact of a problem at one factory.
It may also signal that the iPad 3 might exist alongside the iPad 2 for a time, especially if the rumoured high resolution screen pushes the price of the iPad 3 up. Apple may be considering two models of the iPad with some overlap, which would make sense if the iPad 3 came out in the fall. Two iPads during holiday buying season would be spectacularly good for Apple. Of course, we have no idea when iPad 3 is coming out, if even this year.
Pegatron has already been involved with Apple in the manufacture of the CDMA iPhone 4, and has tailored its production lines specifically to cater to the tablet market. It’s hoping that experience and the company’s focus will allow it to secure the iPad 3 contract.
Apple is coming off a record quarter, having sold 20.34 million iPhones and 9.25 million iPads between April and June, with a revenue of US$28.57 billion. Manufacturers are benefiting too, and if Pegatron can seal the deal with Apple, they’ll be riding the Apple train all the way to the bank.