Apple is adding Wistron as a supplier of the so-called "iPhone 5se," in addition to Foxconn Electronics (via DigiTimes). The latter will still lead production on the next-generation 4-inch iPhone, but Apple is ensuring that manufacturing goes as smoothly as possible by introducing a secondary supplier in Wistron.
Apple has been trying to separate its orders to different ODMs to avoid risks. In February 2015, the vendor added Compal Electronics as an iPad mini manufacturer, and Wistron to conduct iPhone touch panel lamination, and has recently outsourced a small portion of its new 4-inch iPhone orders to Wistron, looking to nurture Wistron to become an iPhone assembly house, according to some market watchers.
According to the report, the split in suppliers will also continue for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Foxconn and Wistron will both supply the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, while Pegatron will share manufacturing duties with Foxconn for the 4.7-inch device. The most recent rumors regarding this fall's iPhone 7 largely encompass the potential loss of its 3.5mm headphone jack in place of Lightning-connected headphones.
Apple sees the doubling-up of suppliers on one particular iPhone as a chance of lessening the manufacturing risk, such as faulty components. The company used the same strategy most recently in the iPhone 6s, divvying up production duties between Foxconn and Pegatron. On both versions of the 2016 iPhone, Foxconn will remain the "major supplier" for each device.
More immediate rumors surround Apple's yet-to-be-announced March 15 media event where the iPhone 5se should be revealed alongside the iPad Air 3, with availability opening up as soon as March 18. The iPhone 5se is said to look similar in appearance to the iPhone 5s, but instead include the curved cover glass the company includes in the iPhone 6s. The new entry-level iPhone will also be beefed up with an A9 processor and an 8-megapixel camera.