Apple may be pitting suppliers against each other to assemble its next-generation iPad.
The company is said to have awarded a contract to manufacture the iPad 3 to Taiwan-based Pegatron, according to a report from the Taiwan Economic News, citing the usual industry sources. If true, this would mean that Apple is looking to reduce its dependence on long-time partner Hon Hai as the sole supplier of the tablet.
Pegatron is already doing business with Apple, responsible for building and shipping the iPhone 4 and reportedly also landing a contract to handle the iPhone 5.
Hon Hai has been the dominant supplier of the iPhone and iPad in the past. But Apple has been looking for a second partner to take on the tablet's production, said the Taiwan Economic News, especially in light of the explosion that hit Hon Hai's Chengdu plant in May.
Apple faced issues with the iPad 2 as supply was unable to keep up with the overwhelming demand. By branching out production of the iPad 3 to two suppliers, the company is likely trying to avoid a similar situation with its next tablet.
Beyond adding Pegatron to its supplier list, Apple will keep its current supply chain intact, added the report, pointing to TPK Holdings providing the touch panels, Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology the battery packs, Largan Precision the camera lenses, and Foxconn the outer PC housings.