Apple is ramping up for something big, it seems, as a slew of retail job postings hit the Web Monday. The tech giant (NASDAQ:AAPL) also, uncharacteristically, began advertising for its retail opportunities in a campaign of ads on sites like Business Insider.
The hiring boom seems to be in perfect synch with the launch of Apple’s next smartphone, the iPhone 6, which is expected to debut in September. In preparation for the surge of retail traffic, Apple would need to bring on new staff, and that’s just what it's doing with new job listings for everthing from part-time specialists to store managers.
In late June, Apple's longtime Taiwan-based manufacturer Foxconn (TWSE:2317) hired 100,000 new employees to meet the expected production demand of the iPhone 6. According to a report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily News last week, the workforce increase (largely in mainland China) is a boost of nearly 10 percent for Foxconn.
The hiring boom shows Foxconn’s and Apple’s anticipation of the iPhone 6’s popularity. The current iPhone 5s broke sales records when it launched in September 2013, hitting an estimated 2.75 million units on the first day, and a record-breaking 9 million in the first three days. If the iPhone 6 follows suit, Foxconn will need the added manpower to meet customer demand.
A source close to the subject put the time between hiring to starting work at more than a month. With just two months to go, the new crew of Apple employees will be hitting sales floors mere weeks before Apple launches the next smartphone. A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment on the new listings or the web recruitment ads.
Apple is looking for employees now, just before a period of increased foot traffic. In times like these and the holiday season, the Cupertino, California, company is known to start most new employees in a part-time specialist position, which means around 22 hours a week. However, Apple employees have complained in the past that after the high-volume period is over, Apple will drop their hours to next to nothing.
Apple’s launch season normally starts in September and ends during the holiday season, beginning with the iPhone and ending with the iPad launches in November. However, CEO Tim Cook has been teasing a “new product category” for a long time, which people have interpreted as the iWatch. Some analysts put Apple’s first wearable’s release around the iPhone 6.