Apple’s partnership with Foxconn has grown increasingly uneasy in the past few years amid growing reports of labor violations, but according to the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer iOS sales still drive a huge chunk of the company’s business. Foxconn said on Friday that its profits last year rose by 13 percent up to roughly $3.5 billion, thanks in part to increased iPhone and iPad sales, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Foxconn still makes 40 percent of its total revenue by manufacturing Apple products, and a boost in sales in the final few months of 2013 following the release of new iPhones and iPads certainly meant more business for the manufacturer. Apple sold 51 million smartphones in the last quarter of 2013 and a record 22.9 million tablets. Even so, Cupertino’s critics are already casting doubt on whether the company can top itself again in 2014, and Foxconn is increasingly looking for new opportunities to branch out.
Foxconn has announced new partnerships with BlackBerry and Firefox. Through another partnership with Google, Foxconn hopes to develop a new operating system for the manufacturer designed specifically to automate factory work for robots. The Taiwan company is also making a push into software and telecommunications, and even selling mobile accessories under its own consumer-facing brand, Coverbank. Even so, for the time being Foxconn’s fate is closely tied to Apple, and for now that’s not a bad place to be.