Foxconn has begun taking on new workers as it prepares to begin production of Apple’s next iPhone, according to two seperate reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.
The company has added to its numbers at an iPhone plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China, ending a freeze on recruitment that was implemented back in February. The new workers will reportedly assemble the upcoming “iPhone 5S,” as well as existing models that Apple has requested to boost capacity, a supply chain source said.
The Zhengzhou plant employs between 250,000 and 300,000 people, and around 10,000 assembly line workers have been added per week since the end of March, WSJ reports. A Foxconn spokesman declined to reveal the specifics behind the hirings, saying only that “Foxconn will continue to expand its workforce in Zhengzhou to meet seasonal demand from clients.”
But executives familiar with the company’s plans aren’t as keen to keep quiet. “We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon,” one told WSJ.
Recent reports have claimed that the iPhone 5S will enter production during the second quarter of 2013, ahead of its launch later this year. It could also be joined by a low-cost iPhone which could help Apple compete with the likes of Samsung in emerging markets.
Foxconn is said to be feeling the pressure of the increased competition Apple is receiving in the smartphone and tablet markets recently, and it saw lower-than-expected revenue during March. It’s thought, however, that business will pick up around May when Apple’s new devices enter production.
Foxconn currently employs around 1.4 million workers in China, with plants in Chengdu, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Zhengzhou.