"Workers have been recruited at Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China, for the past month, ending a hiring freeze imposed in February, said the person, who asked not to be named because the plans haven’t been made public. The extra workers will assemble the new device as well as existing models and have been added at Apple’s request to boost capacity, the person said”.
DigiTimes reports that the components for the next generation iPhone will be shipped at the end of may, and the new Apple’s smartphone may appear somewhere in the third quarter. This confirms other reports that iPhones will be released in June or July.
AppleInsider reports that an analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities has shared a few new details about rumored Apple's low-cost iPhone. He expects the cheaper iPhone will have a plastic and fiberglass casing that will be thinner, lighter and stronger, than typical plastic casings.
NZWeek reports (via TNW) that Apple is planning to offer direct online sales in Indonesia and to open up its first brick-and-mortar store in the capital city, Jakarta. Today the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in Indonesia announced that it has approved the application filed by Apple to open up a online shop in the country. Also the report claimed that Apple is going to invest 2-3 million U.S. dollars to open its first retail location in Jakarta.
According to a report from DigiTimes, Apple plans to move production of the Mac mini (not the Mac Pro as previously speculated) to the U.S. The report said:
“Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain”.
According to the report from Taiwan’s Central News Agency, citing a source from Foxconn, the supplier is currently testing several designs for Apple’s HDTV sets, but it is "unlikely" that the product will be shipped in 2013.
As Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that Apple is going to bring some part of Mac production to the U.S. in 2013, Bloomberg reports that Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner, is also seeking to expand its production in the country. A Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo said:
Today The Verge reported that Microsoft is planning to launch its 7-inch tablet called "Xbox Surface". Rather than being a smaller variant of its just-released 10-inch Surface, the forthcoming tablet will be focused on gaming and will run a scaled down Windows.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Apple has tightened quality control standards for iPhone 5 production, in order to decrease the number of smartphones that are delivered with scratches on its aluminum shell right out of the box. But the initiative seems to have slowed the production of the new Apple’s smartphone.
“Stricter benchmarks have hampered production of the iPhone 5's anodized aluminum housings, forcing Foxconn's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. to idle factories”.
Thousands of Foxconn workers responsible for assembly of the iPhone 5 have gone on strike today, objecting to strict quality control standards that were raised by Apple and Foxconn to address issues related to scratching and other blemishes on the iPhone 5 casing. The new standards turned out to be extremely difficult for workers to produce phones satisfying those requirements.