Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed that Apple plans to entrust Luxshare with the assembly of its flagship iPhone 16 Pro Max model in 2024, marking a major shift in its supply chain strategy and a blow to its longtime partner Foxconn which has long been entrusted with manufacturing the company’s top-end flagships.
In a Medium blog post published on Thursday, via MacRumors, Kuo said that Apple had given Luxshare the new product introduction (NPI) approval for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, which means that the supplier will be responsible for setting up the production lines and testing the quality of the device before mass production.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 18, 2023
Kuo said that Apple’s decision was based on Luxshare’s impressive performance in handling some of the iPhone 14 Pro Max orders that were transferred from Foxconn last year. Foxconn faced production disruptions and labor unrest in its largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, in November 2022, following protests and riots over unpaid wages and poor working conditions. Apple then decided to diversify its supply sources and mitigate risks by giving some of its orders to Luxshare, which improved its production yield faster than expected.
According to Kuo, Apple now considers Luxshare as a first-tier supplier with strong R&D (research and development) and production capabilities and expects the company to manufacture 45–50 million iPhones in 2023, more than double the amount in 2022. Kuo also suggests that Apple will likely help Luxshare establish production lines in India, where Apple aims to triple its iPhone output within the next two years.
As of right now, it is expected that Luxshare will manufacture the 16 Pro Max, Foxconn will work on the 16 Pro and 16, and Pegatron will ship the 16 Plus.