The notion that Foxconn might take a large stake in a major Taiwanese telecom equipment company poses a litany of interesting questions for its largest customer — Apple.
For example, Foxconn, which gets 40% of its revenue from Apple, could now be in position to become both a major Apple supplier and a major enabler, since millions of iPhones and iPads would conceivably be connected via Asia Pacific Telecom’s network. What influence could Foxconn thus have over Apple’s ability to operate in key Southeast Asia markets? Would it possibly seek to leverage that network by negotiating with Samsung to force better pricing from Apple? Will other major EMS/ODMs that play heavily in this space (Jabil, Pegatron, Compal, Wistron) follow Foxconn’s lead?
The EMS/ODM model continues to evolve. Foxconn seems intent on speeding that evolution ever faster.