ZTE looking to produce iPad, iPhone in Brazil

Juan Pablo Conti | 01-11-2011

With at least six different Brazilian states competing against each other to be chosen by Foxconn as the site where the Taiwanese firm will begin manufacturing Apple products next year, the city of Hortolandia appears to have leapfrogged them all.

Located in the state of Sao Paulo, Hortolandia is in fact one of the industrial hotspots vying to welcome Foxconn's multibillion dollar project. However, in a completely separate investment made by a completely unexpected player (Chinese telecoms equipment vendor ZTE), the city might have found the partner to begin assembling Apple iPhones and iPads by as soon as Christmas.

According to Brazilian industry website Teletime, both the mayor of Hortolandia, Angelo Perugini, and an unnamed Chinese-based executive from ZTE have separately confirmed that the company is looking to secure an OEM outsourcing deal from Apple.

The project would see ZTE launching production of both of Apple's iconic devices at the plant that the Chinese firm has recently started using to manufacture its own products in Hortolandia.

While mayor Perugini believes that the first Apple gadgets "made in Hortolandia" could be rolling off the production line by Christmas, the Chinese-based executive was more cautious and talked of early-2012 as a more likely date for the start of production.