According to a new Chinese report this morning, Apple's noisy supply chain is at it again. The new report claims that supply chain manufacturers have begun to receive component parts for the new iPhone, supposedly named the 5S. The supply chain sources claim that it usually takes two months for the production process to reach the assembly stage for Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) which would translate to assembling the next iPhone beginning in early July.
While Hon Hai denies all rumors, the supply chain sources conveniently added that Hon Hai's Apple-related production lines now boast the highest rate of automation among all of the group's production lines. Enhancing the automation rates at all of its production facilities, including those in China, is one of Hon Hai's priorities for this year, the sources said. The group's most automated facilities are factories in Zhengzhou and Shenzhen, with basic operations, including the final quality control step, being largely automated.
That piece of news seemed to be disjointed from the main theme of the rumor, though it supports our news report back in January where Hon Hai spokesperson Liu Kun stated that the company's plants in Zhengzhou, which is in charge of 70% of iPhone 5 shipments, will later adopt robots.
Today's latest rumor suggests that Apple could be breaking with their traditional September-only release time frame for new iPhones. The rumor is blatantly suggesting that the iPhone 5S would debut in August and a new economical entry in September. That could be a bit of a stretch – especially on the rumored economical iPhone model.
Yet for now, the rumor of the day out of Apple's supply chain is that Apple has moved up their part orders earlier than normal which could point to an earlier release of the iPhone 5S.
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