Taiwan-based Pegatron, which is one of Apple’s biggest suppliers in Asia, will reportedly produce 50% of the 50 million 4.7-inch iPhone 6 units said to ship this fall, according to China-based DigiTimes (via MacRumors’ Richard Padilla).
Foxconn, the largest private employer in all of China, will reportedly handle the rest of the iPhone 6 orders. Foxconn has hired 100,000 new workers as the supplier ramps up in preparation for the next iPhone launch, and its “Foxbots,” which will help the company assemble devices and cope with the rising cost of labour, are in their “final testing phase.”
Though Apple and Foxconn have a storied history, the iPhone maker has been working with Pegatron more and more these days. It tapped the Taiwanese supply chain to manage the assembly for last year’s iPhone 5C and iPad mini with Retina display. That said, Pegatron received a lot of attention in the last 12 months for all the wrong reasons: New York-based China Labour Watch accused Pegatron of “at least 86 labour rights violations, including 36 legal violations and 50 ethical violations,” and the company was investigated again when an underage worker was found dead from pneumonia-related causes.
Apple responded to the labour allegations against Pegatron last July, restating the company’s commitment “to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain.”
Though Pegatron will handle about half the orders for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, it’s unclear which supplier is responsible for producing and assembling the 5.5-inch model, which has been rumoured for months despite no legitimate leaks — a rarity for any Apple device so close to its reported launch.
As for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, which is reportedly in its “final testing stages” before mass production begins, the phone is expected to feature a thinner and rounder form factor, offer a bigger (and hopefully beefier) battery, and offer 802.11ac WiFi connectivity. It’s also said to be run by a new Apple-built A8 processor and ship with iOS 8 built-in.
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