Orders from Apple seem to be in, and the company's Taiwan-based suppliers have ramped up their production lines and have gone on a hiring spree. But the big question is this: if Apple's next-generation “iPhone 7” is indeed expected to look and feel a lot like the current-generation iPhone 6s, how come suppliers are so much under strain?
CNBC has the report (via 9to5mac), and explains that both Foxconn and Pegatron are hiring new workers in preparation for the production of Apple's forthcoming handset. More significantly, recruitment at both companies has apparently started a month ealier than it has in previous years:
The report noted that hiring at both suppliers had kicked off their recruitment seasons at least a month earlier than in previous years in which Apple has launched new iPhones, and that it was the first time in two years that Foxconn had started recruiting on the mainland as early as May.
Indeed, before now we'd heard that Apple's iPhone 7 would look a lot like the iPhone 6s, but with a bigger camera. Yet the two reports don't compute: if Apple's new iPhone is expected to mirror its predecessor in terms of design, it doesn't make sense that Foxconn and Pegatron have gone on so rampant a hiring spree as this. The kind of recruitment both companies are pushing suggests that bigger changes are inbound.
It could be that an “iPhone Pro” model is the reason behind the manufacturing push at both companies. Or perhaps, the iPhone 7 is going to be more of a hardware refresh than many were anticipating. After all, we're due a new iPhone design (this is something customers are going to be expecting, and it could be exactly what Apple needs in order to boost its smartphone sales).
The Economic Daily News reported that the design of the iPhone 7 was more complex than previous models, which meant that suppliers needed to start work on the new phone's parts earlier than on previous iterations, which assembling staff needed more training than previous.
We'll know for sure come September, when Apple is expected to launch its new iPhones. In the meantime, we'll keep you posted with further information as we receive it.