March 18, 2014 - 09:58 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A report out of the Far East on Tuesday, March 18, claims Pegatron has started recruitment operations for a new plant in China that will supposedly start manufacturing Apple's next-gen iPhone in the second quarter, AppleInsider says.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, a report on Chinese-language China Times portal claims Pegatron will start initial production of the so-called "iPhone 6" at its new facility in Kunshan sometime in quarter two and is expected to reach full production capacity in quarter three.
Pegatron will reportedly share iPhone 6 manufacturing duties with Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, though each company's share of orders is unknown at this point. The split is likely substantial, however, as the publication claims "thousands" of Pegatron workers will undergo training for the upcoming job.
Tuesday's rumor is in line with Apple's usual annual hardware cycle, which last year saw the release of iPhone 5s and 5c in September, AppleInsider notes.
As Apple looks to diversify its supply chain, Pegatron has bolstered its position as an important cog in manufacturing machine and is responsible for the iPhone 5c and iPad mini. Thus far, however, all premium handsets like the iPhone 5s have been handled exclusively by Foxconn, it says.
It was around this time in 2013 that rumors of Apple's iPhone plans began to circulate. At the time, reports from the Far East described a two-pronged hardware update, accurately describing what would ultimately become the iPhone 5s and 5c.
Current rumors point to another two-device launch in quarter three that may see another boost in screen size for Apple's popular smartphone lineup. The company refused to change the iPhone's form factor for five years, sticking with a 3.5-inch display until the 4-inch iPhone 5 debuted in 2012. During that time, competitors looking for niche sales launched a variety of devices, including "phablets" like the Samsung Note series.
In a report on Monday, analyst Brian Marshall of ISI group went so far as to say Apple's next iPhone hardware refresh could be the "motherlode of all upgrade cycles" if the company launches redesigned handsets to combat "large screen envy." Marshall is looking at two specific screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches on the diagonal.