iPhone 6 is go! Foxconn confirms it has hired 100,000 workers to make handset - and the ‘phablet’ phone will go on sale this year
- 4.7-inch iPhone production to start third week of July
- 5.5-inch version scheduled for second week of August
- Foxconn confirms hiring of 100K workers
- Recent video shows the 4.7inch handset’s sapphire glass screen being bent, twisted, scratched with keys and even stabbed with a knife
It is a tale of two phone firms.
As Microsoft confirms it is laying off 18,000 workers, mainly in the mobile phone business it bought from Nokia, iPhone maker Foxconn has confirmed it has hired 100,000 new workers to manufacture the iPhone 6.
It comes as 4.7-inch iPhone production is expected to star to start next week, with the larger 5.5inch version set to start three weeks later.
The Economic Daily said Foxconn had finally confirmed the rumours it would hire a huge number of staff.
The latest report appears to contradict earlier claims the larger ‘phablet’ sized iPhone 6 won’t ship until 2015,
Analyst believed the firm has hit problems manufacturing the handset’s case and screen, and would now only launch a 4.7inch version this year.
The handset is expected to have a new ‘indestructible’ sapphire glass screen.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the problems were found while Apple produced the smaller handset, according to 9to5mac.
'Production bottlenecks on 4.7-inch iPhone 6 center on the yield rate of in-cell touch panel and metal casing,' claims
'As in-cell touch panel becomes larger in size, the edge of the panel may become insensitive to touch.
'Meanwhile, under new manufacturing process for the iPhone 6 metal casing, color unevenness is an issue.'
According to 9th5mac, Kuo says that these problems become more complicated with the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6.
'As these new concerns are coupled with earlier concerns about the production of sapphire displays for the larger device, the analyst believes that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may not launch by the end of 2014, or may launch after October in very limited quantities.'
Kuo also believes that Apple will cut the prices of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c alongside the launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.
In a statement about the announcement, GT Advanced Technologies said: ‘Although the agreement does not guarantee volumes, it does require GT to maintain a minimum level of capacity.’
While an Apple spokesman added: ‘We are proud to expand our domestic manufacturing initiative with a new facility in Arizona, creating more than 2,000 jobs in engineering, manufacturing and construction.
‘This new plant will make components for Apple products and it will run on 100 per cent renewable energy from day one, as a result of the work we are doing with SRP to create green energy sources to power the facility.’
Earlier this week iPhone maker Foxconn revealed Apple’s new iPhone 6 could be the first to be made using its ‘robot army’.
The firm has pledged to have a million robot workers by the end of the year - and CEO Terry Gou has revealed the robots, dubbed ‘Foxbots’, are in the final stages of testing.
It is believed Foxconn will install 10,000 robots as a test.
Lines dedicated to Apple devices getting first priority, according to IT Home.
It says Gou told a shareholder meeting that Apple would be the first company to take advantage of the new robot workers meaning that its next product - the iPhone 6 - will be manufactured in this way.
Each $25,000 Foxbot can complete an average of 30,000 devices per year it has been claimed.
Foxconn, which currently employs more than 1.2 million workers at its various factories across China.
However, the firm’s robot initiative has been delayed since it was first announced in 2011.
At the time, Gou said the company had about 10,000 units already in operation, a number that was supposed to rise to 300,000 in 2012, then one million by 2014.
However, the firm is also ramping up human workers for the iPhone 6, with 100,00 being hired according to some reports.
Dozens of pictures have leaked online claiming to show Apple’s iPhone 6.
They all show a thin, curved device with distinctive white ‘bars’ across the back.
However, a Japanese news agency has claimed that in fact, the finished product will look very different - and that it could even have a curved screen.