1. Akshay Masand's Avatar

    One of the world’s leading assembler of consumer electronics products and Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer, Foxconn, recently submitted an application for a fourth-generation high-speed mobile spectrum license in Taiwan. The move the latest in a series of moves by Foxconn to distance itself from Apple, which currently accounts for more than half of the manufacturer’s revenue.

    For those of you who don’t already know, Foxconn operates a chain of retail stores in Asia, making television sets for Western brands and assembling products for a variety of technology giants (including Dell and Sony). The firm also operates under the Hon Hai Precision Industry moniker and is additionally in the process of preparing a range of iOS-compatible accessories and just a few days ago showcased its own smartwatch product.

    As if this wasn’t enough, it was recently discovered that Foxconn paid 260 million New Taiwan dollars, or roughly $8.7 million in U.S. dollars, for a 28% stake in Taifo, a local fiber-optic Internet network service provider. The Wall Street Journal mentioned the following regarding Foxconn’s recent move:

    The investment in the 4G mobile license shows Hon Hai’s ambitions in expanding into the more profitable services industry.

    The Taiwanese company is also investing in media content and software, and plans to sell its own brand of electronics accessories to improve profit margins, according to company executives.
    Foxconn is looking past slow Apple sales caused by a slowing trend of computer and smartphone sales. The lack of Apple product launches since last Fall also seems to be hurting Foxconn’s bottom line. Despite landing contracts to help assemble next-generation iPhones and iPads, Pegatron is understood to be assembling the rumored low-budget iPhone. Foxconn has supposedly also landed a deal to launch its own Firefox OS-powered tablet.

    The manufacturer’s move into the consumer electronics space could pit it against Apple, in a similar fashion as Samsung stepped on Apple’s turf with tablets and smartphones. We’ll have to see if Foxconn is able to hold its ground and successfully venture into an industry they have not yet really participated in.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand
    2013-07-02 11:23 PM