Apple now mass-producing iPhone 6 ahead of fall launch

The Rumor: New backlight LCD tech will make the iPhone 6 skinnier than any iPhone ever. The Verdict: Most likely. To make the 5.5-inch iPhone Air as thin as possible, supply chain sources at China Times say Apple will only use one brightness enhancement film for the backlit LCD display. We know Jony is gaga for shrinking his devices and it looks like the engineering team has found the answer. The only question is can they get enough supplies in time.

Production of the iPhone 6 has either just begun, or is days away from starting, according to a new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News.

The newspaper claims that mass-production of the eagerly-anticipated next generation 4.7-inch iPhone 6 handset is set to begin during the third week of July – making it either this week or next – while production of the larger 5.5-inch “phablet” iPhone 6 will begin during the second week of August. No sources were cited for either of these reports.

Production on the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is said to have been plagued by issues related to the battery, display, and casting. Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of the Taiwanese firm KGI Securities has previously suggested that for this reason the handset could be delayed to 2015 — although if these new reports are to be believed, that may not be the case.

Given that there will almost certainly be smaller quantities of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, an August production date could result in both handsets being launched simultaneously in September.

It is also reported that Hon Hai is planning to hire an extra 100,000 workers at its mainland facilities in order to meet future demand for the handset, according to comments made by the chief of the Henan Provincial Commerce Department. Fellow Apple manufacturer Pegatron is also on a mass hiring spree, as it looks to recruit an addition 10,000+ workers for its mainland facilities to help manufacture the iPhone.

Earlier this year it was suggested that Pegatron was expanding its factory space to deal with the orders.

Last week it was reported that primary iPhone 6 Foxconn manufacturer was ready to deploy an army of 10,000 robots to help build the iPhone 6.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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