With all eyes so closely focused on what Foxconn is doing with their production facilities and the possibility of moving operations to Brazil, ZTE slipped under the radar. ZTE is a multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company based out of Shenzhen, China.
News reports indicate that ZTE has formed a partnership with Hortolandia in the state of Sao Paulo that both parties hope will see the electronics manufacturer producing parts for Apple to use in iPhones and iPads as early as December (though ZTE executives are less optimistic and are suggesting a date in 2012 is more likely).
It does appear that there are a lot of I’s to dot and T’s to cross before that happens as they first need to secure a deal from Apple to become an OEM outsourcer. I am not sure whether it will help or hinder the deal that ZTE currently has facilities in Hortolandia being used to create their own product line. Apple may see this as undesirable though it does show a certain level of capability and expertise that may bring them comfort.
Beginning in 1985, ZTE Corporation has grown to become what they describe as a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions. Featuring a rather diverse product range and offering, this company covers “every vertical sector of wireless networks, core networks, access & bearer networks, services and terminals markets.”
With Apple seeing their relationship with Samsung hit rough waters, this potential arrangement with ZTE might be one of those that comes at the right time in the right place. Couple that with Brazil doing their best to make production in their country as attractive to large-scale manufacturing as possible and Apple might very well be looking to make a change.
ZTE does offer their own line of smartphones powered by Android, but that never prevented Apple from working with Samsung so I don’t see why it would cause a problem here… as long as they have their patent licensing in check.