With Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) expected to release the iPhone 5S sometime in September or October, the company’s manufacturing partner, Foxconn (TPE:2354), is rumored to be hiring 90,000 workers for the production of the next iPhone iteration.
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is on its way to start a massive round of hiring for its Shenzhen factory in southern China's Guangdong province to deal with large orders from Apple, AppleInsider reported, citing Taiwan-based publication Focus Taiwan.
According to the report, sources in the Apple supply chain revealed that Foxconn has completed testing for the assembly of the iPhone 5S and is now set to start producing the new handset. Earlier this month, reports surfaced online saying that Foxconn had begun recruiting workers in its plant in Zhengzhou, in northern China, in preparation for the production of the iPhone 5S.
Industry analysts said Apple’s orders will likely account for about 40 percent of Foxconn’s total sales in 2013, and 20 percent to 25 percent of the company’s revenue for the year. Analysts also believe that Foxconn’s growth momentum will pick up in the second half of 2013, especially in the fourth quarter, when Apple's sales are expected to increase during the lucrative holiday season.
While Foxconn is gearing up for the flagship iPhone 5S, Pegatron (TPE:4938), another component supplier for Apple, is reportedly working on a low-cost model of the iPhone, which will have an outer shell made of polycarbonate or plastic. The company was planning to hire 40,000 workers, a 40 percent increase in its workforce, to manage additional iPhone orders from Apple, AppleInsider reported in May.
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Latest reports also suggest that Pegatron, which has been charged with abuse of workers at its China-based factories, is indeed assembling the low-cost plastic iPhone.
New York-based China Labor Watch, which has accused Pegatron of violating multiple workers’ rights, mentioned a "less-pricey iPhone" in its report, which includes a statement saying: “Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines.” The mention of the plastic back cover is understood to be a reference to the manufacture of a low-cost iPhone.
Meanwhile, the latest round of rumors suggests that the low-cost iPhone will be named “iPhone 5C.” The buzz about the new name began spreading online when a set of photos, claimed to be that of the cases of the new iPhone, surfaced over the weekend.
The alleged photos, carrying an “iPhone 5C” tag, were later deemed as fake. But, the iPhone 5C moniker, according to a report by BusinessInsider, could be legitimate.
The report said, citing one of its sources who is “connected to someone inside the company,” that the recently leaked colorful cases of the low-cost iPhone were “spot-on,” with the 'C' in the name said to denote color.
The source has also confirmed that the “iPhone 5C” will be launched alongside the iPhone 5S, which is expected to feature the design of the current iPhone 5, but will likely have upgraded internal specifications, such as a faster processor and an improved camera.
The iPhone 5S is also speculated to feature a biometric fingerprint reader built into its traditional home button. A strong evidence of the upcoming feature was discovered in the iOS 7 Beta 4, which Apple released, on Monday, to its registered developers.