The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are both reporting that Foxconn has begun hiring new workers to produce the iPhone 5S. A separate report earlier this month said that production would be beginning on the new iPhone during the current quarter for a potential summer launch.
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 supplied similar information on the hiring push, saying that a hiring freeze imposed in February had been ended, and the plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China had been recruiting workers for the past month. The source noted that the extra workers will assemble the new device as well as existing models, and had been added at Apple’s request.
Some rumors have put the introduction of the next-generation iPhone as soon as the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is usually held in June, while other reports, most notably from the usually reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, say that the introduction will be delayed due to issues with new features such as a fingerprint sensor, with the launch taking place in the September – November timeframe.