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Luxshare to make AR headset for Apple

By MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-23 10:00
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A shopper leaves an Apple store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, after buying an iPhone 15 on Friday. LONG WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

Vision Pro latest addition to Chinese manufacturer's growing portfolio

China's Luxshare Precision Industry is preparing to make the Apple Vision Pro, an augmented reality headset, for Apple Inc. The new product will be available in the market early next year.

Luxshare has landed Apple's order to be the latter's contract manufacturer like Foxconn, which makes iPhones. Luxshare's achievement showcases Chinese suppliers' prowess and shows they are not only important to the production of Apple's current flagship iPhones but also key to its future products, experts said.

Wang Laichun, chairwoman of Luxshare, confirmed for the first time in an interview that the firm will produce the Vision Pro AR headset for Apple.

Vision Pro, unveiled in June by Apple, is the first major new product category the US company launched in almost a decade, and is seen by many as the future of computing.

Wang said the partnership with Apple to make the cutting-edge product is a recognition of Luxshare's manufacturing capabilities.

Iris Cui, vice-president of Asia procurement and operations at Apple, said, "As we celebrate 30 years in China, we're so proud of the supply chain we've built here."

Luxshare, she said, is a great partner, and Wang and her team "have built an incredible business that started supplying cables to Apple a decade ago — and today, helps produce our most advanced products for customers around the world".

Cui said, "We'll continue partnering with Luxshare Precision Industry and so many other innovative companies across the country, as we invest in opportunity and innovation here."

According to Wang, Luxshare is producing three models of iPhone 15 series this year, and the business has doubled in a year.

"Luxshare is continuing to expand its production capacity in China to meet Apple's needs," Wang said, adding the company built a new plant in Kunshan, southeastern Jiangsu province, last year to support the development and mass production of the iPhone.

Founded in 2004, Luxshare became an Apple supplier in 2011 and has steadily moved up the hardware giant's value chain, from making connector cables for the iPhone and the Macbook to manufacturing Airpods.

Luxshare is just an example of how Chinese suppliers grew together with Apple in the past 30 years, and their ties will only grow deeper as China shifts toward smart, high-end manufacturing, experts said.

Isabel Ge Mahe, vice-president and managing director of Apple Greater China, said in an earlier interview that "over the past 30 years, Chinese suppliers have grown very fast and become an indispensable, and particularly important part, of our supply chain".

According to her, Apple is happy to help promote the transition to intelligent manufacturing, which is also a top agenda for China.

"If we want to make our products better, we must enable the employees in the supply chains to be more capable. This is a win-win relationship," Ge Mahe had said.

"As we've grown in China, we've helped to connect people and drive creativity. As we look to the future, the possibilities for innovation know no bounds."

Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 series became available in retail stores across China on Friday.

China is not only a big market and a manufacturing powerhouse for Apple's consumer electronics, but also a major source of innovation for the company, experts said.

The Apple Vision Pro is so sophisticated that the US company needs to rely on China's advanced, highly efficient manufacturing system to make the device, they said.

Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said China has advantages in market, technology and talent, and its innovation-driven development strategy will help the nation become more important to the growth of global tech giants such as Apple.

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