Will Foxconn Become Apple’s Next Big iPad and iPhone Competitor?

Apple iTVYou know that iTV that everyone keeps talking about? You know, the television set that the tech industry is claiming will be here by mid-2014 at the latest, the one that Foxconn is making for Apple. Well, according to the New York Times, Foxconn is working on a branded television set for itself in an effort to reduce its reliance on Apple.

Isn’t that how Samsung started? In March, Businessweek published an in-depth article about the Korean-based tech company. Samsung started as a parts manufacturer, making microprocessors and memory chips for other companies. Building a strong infrastructure to sell components to others helped Samsung get an idea for how the industry works.

Samsung then expanded by investing in manufacturing plants and technologies, and eventually making electronics devices to compete directly with companies it was supplying parts for. Today, the unassuming parts supplier is one of the largest electronics company in the world.

It appears that Foxconn is positioning itself to follow in the footsteps of South Korea’s celebrity company. According to the New York Times, Mainland China’s Foxconn Technology Group is developing products of its own, “with an especially aggressive push into designing and manufacturing large, flat-screen televisions.”

Sure, Apple isn’t currently in the television set business, so Foxconn wouldn’t be directly competing with its partner. However, Samsung didn’t start out making smartphones either.

Foxconn knows how to make a tablet. Hon Hai (Foxconn’s parent company) is the largest manufacturing service company in the world. They have already started making and selling television sets under the Vizio and Radio Shack brand.

According to the New York Times, Foxconn is only making electronics in an effort to pad itself in the event that its brand name partners fail.

“The decline in the business of our partners, such as Apple and Nokia, does affect us,” Foxconn representative Simon Hsing said. “We don’t want to just wait for orders.”

At the same time, the manufacturing giant claims that it doesn’t want to disrupt the status quo. “We are the platform for all the brand-name customers, and to have our own brand does not suit the company policy,” said Kay Chui, vice president of Foxconn’s consumer electronics division.

Samsung probably said the same thing when it first started making its own brand of electronics.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik