Apple Parts Ways With Engineering Consulting Firm Over Tablet Prototype
The New York Times reports that Apple has parted ways with engineering design firm SurfaceInk, severing a nearly decade-long relationship that saw SurfaceInk assist with the development of several Apple products. The move comes as SurfaceInk has increased the availability of its "Turn-key" services that see it design and build entire products for sale to other companies.
It was that latest part of SurfaceInk's business, which the company began about five years ago, that apparently unsettled Apple. While SurfaceInk had gotten clients mostly through word of mouth, in June it publicized a prototype 12.1-inch tablet during an electronics trade show.
The device was meant to showcase SurfaceInk's design capabilities to potential clients, Mr. Bauswell said. He said that Apple viewed those capabilities as a potential competitive threat.
It is unknown exactly what products SurfaceInk assisted Apple with, but it is clear that SurfaceInk's willingness to design and build competitors to the iPad hasn't sat well with Apple. SurfaceInk founder and CEO Eric Bauswell declined to offer additional information on the relationship between the two companies.