After instituting a hiring freeze in its China factories in late March, Apple (AAPL)’s main manufacturing partner Foxconn Electronics is reportedly beefing up its manpower at its major iPhone production facilities in Zhengzhou, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Citing the Taiwanese-based company, the paper notes that Foxconn “has added about 10,000 assembly-line workers per week” in the last three weeks in Zhengzhou, suggesting Apple is gearing up for production of the new iPhone.
A company spokesman declined to provide any specifics on Foxconn’s production plans, only saying that the company “will continue to expand its workforce in Zhengzhou to meet seasonal demand from clients.” But executives with direct knowledge of production plans, told the Journal Foxconn has stepped up new recruitment because it is preparing for production of the next-generation iPhone.
“We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon,” a Zhengzhou-based executive was quoted as saying by the paper.
The report also notes that a budget iPhone could also accompany the new model, reflecting Apple’s efforts to beat back competition from Samsung and other rivals.