This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Here's Who's on Apple's Supply Chain

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL) supply chain is notoriously complex and growing ever larger. This comes as the company sources parts from vastly different regions, to keep selling as many iDevices as possible.

The company first unveiled its supplier list uin 2011, as part of a release concerning environmental issues at plants in China. There are obvious names among the 33-page list for 2013, including companies such as Qualcomm (QCOM), Intel (INTC), Avago Technologies (AVGO), Hon-Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) and others, but there are several names included on the list that may not necessarily be thought of as associating with Apple.

Companies such as Alcoa (AA) (who knew?!?!), R.R. Donnelly & Sons (RRD) and BYD, the Chinese auto maker are also on the list.

When the list first appeared in early 2012, the name that stood out to me was NXP Semiconductor (NXPI), which makes chipsets designed for near field communications (NFC) use. NFC technology allows customers to pay for devices with their phones instead of cash or a credit card, simply by tapping their phone to a reader.  The phone is linked to the person's bank account and the transfer is made.

Apple has not included NFC capabilities on its iPhone or iPad yet, but has introduced the Passbook app, Touch ID, and iBeacon, all of which are designed potentially to help with the payments ecosystem, along with location-based advertising and deals.

Given how complex Apple's supply chain is, it's tough to read into what each of these companies could be doing with Apple. CEO Tim Cook made comments on Apple's Jan. 23, 2013 earnings call discussed the supply chain: "I would suggest it's good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans and also stress that even if a particular data point were factual it would be impossible to accurately interpret the data point as to what it meant for our overall business because the supply chain is very complex and we obviously have multiple sources for things, yields might vary, supply performance can vary."

"The beginning inventory positions can vary, I mean there is just an inordinate long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what's going on," Cook added.

The company that stands out the most to me is BYD. Apple introducing iOS for the car at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Auto manufacturers such as BMW, Honda (HMC), Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti and Jaguar already have deals to bring iOS integration into some of their models.

BYD has other segments, and its IT business segment counts cell-phone companies such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and others as major customers. Perhaps this is where Apple fits in.

Are there any companies you're surprised about seeing on the list?

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

>Contact by Email.

Stock quotes in this article: AAPL, QCOM, INTC, AVGO 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,496.43 -5.22 -0.03%
S&P 500 1,878.91 +3.52 0.19%
NASDAQ 4,148.5560 +21.5890 0.52%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs