Apple is adding more big-name suppliers to exising contracted component manufacturers for its forthcoming iPhone 5 smartphone which is scheduled to be launched "during summer at the earliest" according to a report in the Economic Daily News.
Foxconn Electronics, Foxlink, Gold Circuit Electronics (GCE) and Epistar have joined Compeq Manufacturing and Unimicron Technology with Japanese-based Foster being left behind.
The suppliers cover a number of minor components including earphone jack sockets, earphones, LED etc but that doesn't mean that there is not big money involved. It is estimated that orders from Apple will be worth more than $172 million initially.
A growing trend noted by Digitimes is that of Japanese manufacturers forging alliances with Taiwanese or Chinese manufacturers to build better but cheaper components while respecting intellectual property at the same time.
Apple is expecting to announce the iPhone 5 on the 6th of June 2011 with the phone going on sale weeks later.