Foxconn adding 10,000 assembly workers per week ahead of new Apple iPhone

Foxconn is hiring 10,000 assembly workers a week ahead of the release of a new iPhone later this year.

According to sources cited by Bloomberg, the company began hiring 10,000 workers per week since March at its Zhengzhou plant, in eastern China, following a hiring freeze in February.

Aside from boosting manufacturing capacity for current iPhone models, the new staff will work on a not-yet-announced new model.

The factory currently employs between 250,000 and 300,000 staff.

As SmartCompany reported earlier this month, sources close to the tech giant say it will soon begin production on a “refreshed” iPhone, to be launched during the second quarter of this year, which is set to be similar in size and shape to the iPhone 5.

Apple is also reportedly working with manufacturing partners on a four-inch version of the iPhone for emerging markets, including China and India, which will use a different casing to the current iPhone.

The low-cost iPhone is expected to launch as soon as the second half of this year marks the increasing importance of emerging markets to Apple, with China now the company’s second largest market.

Apple’s overall revenues from China grew to $6.8 billion during the final quarter of 2012, despite just holding 8% of the Chinese market and the iPhone being unavailable on the nation’s largest carrier, China Mobile.

Overall, China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest smartphone market as of May last year, despite the nation having a smartphone penetration rate of just 22%, with more than 247.2 million users on 3G networks.

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