One of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) largest suppliers has started hiring additional workers in preparation for the release of the next-generation iPhone, according to a report from China Business News via CNET. Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, presently employs about 210,000 workers at its factory in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, but is looking to increase this number to about 300,000.
In the report, a worker recruitment agency states, “Apple’s next-generation mobile products has already begun Foxconn factory production, and now need a lot of assembly line workers.” Presumably, this ramp up in production is for the so-called “iPhone 5S” that will feature a similar external design as the iPhone 5, but with the addition of several internal upgrades.
According to data from the Henan Province Department of Industry cited in the report, the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou produced over 30 million cell phones in the first five months of this year. Hon Hai gets approximately 60 to 70 percent of its revenue from Apple, reports Reuters.
The report also quotes an insider source about the future production of the “iPhone 6.” The source describes conceptual images of an iPhone 6 device that has “no border and aluminum carbon fiber shell, the entire weight of the body lighter than the iPhone 5 by 40 percent.”
Previous leaks have indicated that some of the iPhone 5S internal upgrades may include a dual LED flash and an increased battery capacity. Other rumors have suggested that a fingerprint sensor may be incorporated into the next iteration of iPhone.
There have also been leaks about the so-called “budget iPhone” or “iPhone Lite.” This device is rumored to feature a plastic casing and a lower price than Apple’s flagship smartphone.
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