Both The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are reporting that Foxconn has begun hiring new workers in support of iPhone 5S production. The articles follow a separate report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this month claiming that production on the new iPhone would begin this quarter ahead of a potential summer launch.
From today’s Wall Street Journal report:
A company spokesman declined to elaborate on production plans, only saying that Foxconn will continue to expand its workforce in Zhengzhou to meet seasonal demand from clients. But executives familiar with the situation said the company has stepped up hiring in Zhengzhou because it is preparing for production of the new iPhone.
“We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon,” said a Zhengzhou-based executive who has direct knowledge of production plans.
Bloomberg‘s source offered similar information on Foxconn’s hiring push:
Workers have been recruited at Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China, for the past month, ending a hiring freeze imposed in February, said the person, who asked not to be named because the plans haven’t been made public. The extra workers will assemble the new device as well as existing models and have been added at Apple’s request to boost capacity, the person said.
Apple has been rumored to be planning to introduce its next-generation iPhone as soon as the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which has itself been rumored for its usual June timeframe.
Other reports have, however, been pushing their predictions of the iPhone 5S launch later in 2013, with relatively reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo just last week having predicted that work on a fingerprint sensor would result in the iPhone 5S launching later than many observers have expected. Kuo declined to offer a specific target date for the iPhone 5S launch, but outlined three possible scenarios involving a launch taking place between September and November.