Who builds the Vision Pro? Apple’s first all-new hardware product since the Apple Watch in 2015 appears to have only one manufacturer. As the Financial Times (FT) reports and thus confirms the corresponding speculation, only the contract manufacturer Luxshare is allowed to produce the mixed reality headset. With that, Apple would be relying on a company that is entirely in Chinese hands. This is not the case with most of the other manufacturers in the group – companies such as Foxconn, Wistron or Pegatron have their main factories in the People’s Republic, but are controlled from Taiwan. Luxshare is already the main manufacturer of AirPods, among other things, but also produces iPhones and Apple Watch models. In addition to China, Vietnam is also a location.
Apple’s “crazy” ideas
As the FT continues to write, Luxshare has the job fought for with a willingness to experiment. The company, fully named Luxshare Precision Industry and headquartered in Shenzhen, won the iPhone maker’s favor because it was willing to test Apple’s “crazy” ideas in its factories, says an Apple supply chain worker opposite the leaf. That goes well with the Vision Pro, which is Apple’s most complex product to date. A dozen cameras and numerous sensors alone are installed, and the high-quality micro-OLED screens are also new for Apple.
However, there is also a risk associated with the decision to go with Luxshare. As a purely Chinese company, unlike Foxconn & Co., the company is subject to direct Beijing control. Wang Laichun is the CEO of the company, which was founded in 2004. She is considered the female counterpart of Foxconn boss Terry Gou. Luxshare started out by making rather simple components, including cables. Later, housings and finally entire devices were built. Apple was gradually won over – with allegations that Luxshare may have acquired trade secrets from competitor Catcher Technology, which helped Apple’s deal.
Luxshare is now a billion-dollar company: In 2022, the company had a turnover of 214 billion renminbi – according to the current exchange rate, a good 27 billion euros.
Is Foxconn becoming less important?
So far, Foxconn has always been Apple’s most important manufacturer. The Taiwanese company operates the world‘s largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, the only place where the Pro models of the iPhone were temporarily manufactured. However, last year this led to Apple’s Christmas business being shattered due to the corona measures flaring up in the city. This is one of the reasons why the group is now relying on new production sites and manufacturers.
Luxshare is now to build the first Vision Pro models for Apple. Allegedly there will be fewer than 400,000 units in 2024, writes the FT. Analysts consider the device to be the “most complex consumer device of all time”. Wang knows the market well, she is said to have been one of the first employees in a newly founded Foxconn factory in Shenzhen in 1988. Apple is extremely important for Luxshare: While Foxconn makes less than half of its sales with Apple products, it is said to be 70 percent for Luxshare.
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