Apple’s next-generation iPhone has reportedly entered a “final product validation testing stage,” which is the last step before mass production begins on the phone, according to reports from various Chinese media sources (via GforGames and MacRumors’ Richard Padilla).
Citing sources within Foxconn, the Chinese reports say this final product test involves running the assembly line at full speed to detect issues that may affect assembly. The supplier will manufacture a small batch of iPhone 6 units for a final quality control, and if any issues arise, Apple and Foxconn will tweak and fine-tune their processes to ensure quality and consistency.
Once this final testing stage is complete, the iPhone will enter mass production, which should be right around the time of the phone’s unveiling, which Re/code says will be September 9.
The source of the various Chinese reports is Xiang Ligang, an ex-professor at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and CEO of the Chinese publication China Communication Technology Information Management Engine (CCTIME). As GforGames points out, CCTIME is China’s premier site for “promoting the development of China’s communication and information industry,” so Xiang could very well have knowledge of the operations within Apple’s Chinese supply chains.
It’s worth noting that various Chinese media outlets, as well as GforGames, originally said mass production for the iPhone 6 had already begun in late July, but it’s possible for both reports to be true, especially if either one of Apple’s two new iPhones ran into production issues. Reports late last month said the 5.5-inch iPhone was facing such issues.
Apple is expected to launch two new iPhones next month, including one with a large, high-resolution 4.7-inch display, and an even larger model with a 5.5-inch display. Both phones are expected to release with thinner and rounder form factors than the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, and include bigger batteries and next-generation 802.11 ac WiFi.
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