Apple's next iPhone is forcing the company's manufacturers to boost employment ahead of schedule, according to new reports.
Both Foxconn and Pegatron, two prominent Apple manufacturers, are seeking a slew of new employees to help produce the iPhone 7, Taiwan's Economic Daily News and CNBC reported on Tuesday, citing the companies' websites. The Taiwanese site said that the manufacturers typically ramp up hiring for iPhone production in June, but decided to move it to May due to the device's complexity and an expectation of needing more time to produce the upcoming handset.
Apple (aapl) is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 later this year. While Apple has remained silent on its plans, rumors abound that the smartphone will look strikingly similar to the iPhone 6s. However, Apple is expected to bundle higher-end components in the new handset to boost its performance. The company could also offer better cameras in the new handset, and there has been a back-and-forth over whether it would come with a headphone jack.
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The big changes, however, are expected to come either next year or in 2018. Several reports out of Korea have said in recent weeks that Apple has partnered with Samsung Display to build organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for a future iteration of its iPhone. All previous models have come with liquid crystal displays, which don't offer the same color accuracy and flexibility as OLEDs. Other reports have said that the iPhone Apple could launch in 2017 could be all-glass, nixing the metal design the company currently employs.
That said, the report out Taiwan suggests that Apple could be making more substantial changes to the iPhone 7 than originally thought. Earlier reports pegged the device coming with a largely unchanged design compared to the iPhone 6s, suggesting that production would be rather similar to last year's efforts. The Economic Daily News, however, suggests that staff will need more time to be trained on how to assemble Apple's iPhone 7, hinting that it might not be as similar to its predecessor as the rumor mill thinks.
If history is the guide, this would be the year for Apple to deliver a major update. The company in the past has released a new, major design upgrade every other year. Between that, it offers its "s" models, which come with a nearly identical design and upgraded components. As Apple launched the iPhone 6s last year, history would suggest that the iPhone 7 would be a major update. With an increasing number of reports saying that wouldn't be the case, however, some are giving up hope that Apple will deliver a major update this year.
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Yet now, job postings are hinting that something is changing, but exactly how big of a change the iPhone 7 will deliver is unknown.
Neither Apple nor its manufacturers immediately responded to a request for comment.