Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou is building a case for producing Apple's latest product. (Photo/Yen Chien-lung)
Market insiders speculate that Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, may secure orders from Apple to produce its iTVs, reports our sister paper Commercial Times. Hon Hai is better known internationally by its trading name, Foxconn.
The talk comes on the tails of Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou's visit to Japan this month where he reportedly met Apple's senior executives in Osaka. Gou has personal investments in an LCD TV plant, which he used to show Apple executives that Hon Hai has the ability to produce iTVs, the report said.
Gou has previously said that some good news may emerge during the Year of the Snake, starting the speculation that his comments referred to iTV orders, but spokesmen at the company have declined to comment.
Apple was originally expected to hold a conference related to the iTV in March and formally launch the products in September or October. The schedule has been delayed after Apple's LCD suppliers, LG Display and Sharp, reportedly failed to reach supply quotas, forcing Apple to postpone the introduction of the iTV to sometime next year. As the suppliers began missing their targets, Hon Hai has begun its bid to step in as contractor. The company is already Apple's main manufacturing partner for its iPhone and iPad.
The two sides have reportedly discussed the production details and timing of shipments for iTVs, though no deal has been signed to date. Apple may finalize its decision in May or June, and the iTVs will likely be manufactured at Gou's LCD plant in Osaka, the report said.
Sharp, which is partially owned by Hon Hai, recently sold a portion of its shares to Samsung, leading to speculation that it may lose its iTV orders because of the much-publicized competition between the two tech giants, the report said.