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Asus laptop maker rumoured to have been told to stop production, by Apple

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Apple has issued an ultimatum to Pegatron, one of its suppliers, that if the company does not stop manufacturing Asustek's Zenbook - the existing agreement between them for the manufacturing of the iPhone will expire.

An official confirmation regarding the ultimatum is unlikely to come from either of the companies, although it has been reported that Apple's ultimatum to Pegatron had a response time of March 31st.

The move from the Cupertino based tech heavyweight is understandable, as Zenbook is a rival product to its own MacBook Air. Many experts believe that the move by Apple was indeed quite a strategic one.

Apparently, Apple rewarded Pegatron with the deal to manufacture the iPhone recently, only to be "threatening" to back off from the deal if Pegatron will not comply with their demands.

The trick seems to have worked, as Pegatron will reportedly stop manufacturing Zenbook at the end of March, this year.

If these reports are indeed true, Asustek will be left out with virtually no other option but to outsource the Zenbooks to companies such as Wistron or Compal Electronics.

The decision of Pegatron to comply to Apple's demand can also be attributed to its ambitions of emerging as a key supplier for Cupertino's next most anticipated offering - the iPad3.

Rob Kerr is a journalist with more than 14 years experience of news, reviews and feature writing on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show. The mobile phone world is his real passion and forte, having owned a handset as far back as 1994 where he has seen them grow from just a business tool to a necessity in everyone’s everyday life.