Apple severs ties with tablet-design firm

Company ends nearly 10-year partnership with design firm SurfaceInk after the latter showed off an iPad-like prototype of its own.

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Apple has ended a nearly 10-year partnership with engineering-design firm SurfaceInk, after the latter showed off a tablet prototype of its own, according to The New York Times.

SurfaceInk CEO Eric Bauswell told the Times on Thursday that they parted ways after SurfaceInk recently unveiled a 12.1-inch, Linux-based tablet--a potential rival to Apple's iPad. Bauswell said that Apple viewed the product as a threat.

SurfaceInk, which also has a turnkey business that creates and licenses products, has enjoyed success in the tech world. According to its site, the company's clients have included Hewlett-Packard, Palm, and Belkin.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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