Rumors of a new iPhone that will cost far less than current models have gained momentum today after Pegatron Corp, an assembler of Apple (AAPL)’s iPhone and iPad, told Reuters of its plans to increase its workforce by 40% in the second half of the year.
The Taiwanese electronics-based manufacturer currently employs 100,000 workers, but senior executives revealed to the publication that a further 40,000 are set to join the company’s assembling lines in the second half of 2013, right when Apple is expected to start manufacturing its long-rumored budget iPhone. While there is no definitive information in terms of linking Pegatron to the low-cost iPhone, Reuters notes that a source at a Japanese supplier said that small-scale production of the rumored handset’s display would begin in May, ahead of a ramp up scheduled for June.
Apple is widely expected to launch a less expensive version of its iPhone sometime in the second half of the year.
Furthermore, Pegatron CFO Charles Lin was quoted as saying that 60 percent of the firm’s 2013 revenue would come from the six months after June, but he declined to specify whether the cheaper iPhone was among the new products to be made in the second half.
On Wednesday, however, Pegatron President and CEO Jason Cheng told investors that “revenue from communication product orders would contribute up to 40% to total in the six months from June, compared to 24% in the three months in the beginning of the year.”
Apple hasn’t obviously confirmed that it will make a cheaper iPhone yet. However, there is growing anticipation that Cupertino will offer a low-cost iPhone — a concept that has been under consideration since as early as 2009 — to attract new buyers unable to afford its top-end devices.