Apple is set to begin mass production of the next-generation iPhone next week, the Economic Daily reported today. According to the report, the smaller 4.7-inch model will enter production in the third week of July, while the larger 5.5-inch variant will enter production in the second week of August. The bigger of the two models is said to be facing production setbacks that could lead to a much later launch date than its smaller cousin.

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn added some credence to the timing of the production rumors by officially confirming plans originally reported earlier this month to hire 100,000 new workers to build the upcoming device. Sapphire crystal for the displays (which we’ve recently seen in multiple videos) has been in production at Apple’s Mesa, AZ plant for several months now in preparation for mass production.

From the Economic Daily report (translated):

Hon Hai yesterday (17) days in Henan massive Foxconn unwilling to comment on the issue of recruitment. It is understood that version 4.7 is expected in July inch iPhone6 the first three weeks to begin mass production, mass production time, compared with 5.5 inches the first two weeks in August.

Some reports have claimed that only the larger model iPhone 6 will get a sapphire display, though that seems to be contradicted by the existence of the 4.7-inch sapphire displays seen in the aforementioned videos. Another improvement to the next-gen smartphone that will reportedly be limited to the higher-end model is optical image stabilization in the camera.

Both devices will be the first to take advantage of Foxconn’s recently-purchased line of robotic production tools. The 4.7-inch iPhone is expected to ship to consumers this fall. The 5.5-inch model is rumored to be facing delays until as late as 2015.

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28 Responses to “4.7-inch iPhone production to start third week of July, 5.5-inch second week of August as Foxconn confirms hiring of 100K workers”

  1. colinstalter says:

    Mike, you should stop referring to the 5.5 inch handset as the “high-end” one. If there is any company that realizes that screen size doesn’t relate to quality, it’s Apple. There is no way that they would force their costumers to purchase a giant phablet phone to get OIS, sapphire display, etc. I would bet my apple stock that we will see near feature parity with the two sizes (if there even is a 5.5 inch model) with possible differences being screen resolution and battery life.

    In regards to OIS (optical image stabilization): this feature ads thickness to a camera lens stack. I have a hard time imagining that the 5.5″ would be thicker than the 4.7″ because there is already so much more room for components. Since the added width of the 5.5 does not make it easier to include OIS, there is would be no reasoning for apple to only include it in that model. Yes, there would be a larger margin on the 5.5, but this would still upset too many costumers.

    • Mike Beasley says:

      We refer to that model as the “high-end” model because reports say it will feature hardware not available in the smaller model, such as OIS, and in some cases the sapphire display (though that specific rumor seems more unfounded than the rest).

      As for including OIS in only one model, you are assuming that there is no supply issue with the camera componenets. As is the case with the larger iPhone, the problem does not lie in the design, but with manufacturing problems and supply constraints that lead Apple to consider making cuts in the 4.7-inch model.

      There’s more information about all of this in the linked articles.

  2. rettun1 says:

    When analysts were making estimates about how many iPhone screen apple could produce based on the capabilities of the Arizona plant, did they consider that the display would not be entirely made of Sapphire? Its likely a blend of sapphire and some other more flexible material, because as I know, normal sapphire doesn’t bend like it did in that MKBHD video.

    Point being, sapphire might not be exclusive to any iPhone model, because they would have enough to put a little bit of it into everything they got (both iPhone sizes and the wearable)

    • Tim Jr. says:

      Probably not.. Analysts do minimal research.. then spew their garbage in the most convincing way possible. It’s not likely any of them really understand the basic production of it much less the impact of Apple’s sapphire related patents on production processes, layering and refinement.

      At one point Apple filed a patent for being able to create crazy thin wafers of Sapphire for layering purposes..

      The analysts are really quite clueless…

  3. newgirl2033 says:

    I’d say this somewhat refutes MingChi Kuo’s “analysis” that “the supply chain” suggests a 2015 launch for the 5.5 inch model. But this article goes out of its way to fit this new information into his analysis. Why does 9-to5 Mac keep kissing Kuo’s butt? He made few accurate predictions in 2013, and several of his 2014 guesses look unlikely to pan out, but he’s been touted at “typically accurate” since he got the iPhone 5 right in 2012. Maybe it’s time to start scrutinizing this guy’s predictions? The copy-and-paste media takes these stories and perpetuates them, lending further credence to his guesses, but nobody ever mentions his real accuracy rate. Remember last year when Kuo said the 5s would be delayed due to problems with the sapphire element of the TouchID sensor? I do, and I’m skeptical of his 2015 prediction now.

  4. 3 weeks in difference of start of production equals a mid September for the smaller and January or February for the larger model? Wouldn’t there be a start date in November like is rumored for the iWatch which is still supposed to be released before the holiday?

    Never understood how if mass production begins in November how the IWatch can hit the market before the holidays like rumored.

    • Mike Beasley says:

      It could be that the 5.5-inch model will be produced at a slower rate due to manufacturing difficulties, which could mean that they would wait to launch it until there was enough stock to meet demand, to avoid a repeat of the limited stock issues that have plagued some iPhone launches.

  5. The count down begins

  6. A 3 week delay in mass production is not going to cause the 5.5inch iPhone to be released in 2015. What ever analyst predicted that is an idiot. Both will be announced in september, but the 4.7 inch will launch in september, with the 5.5 coming sometime in october. Similar to how the retina iPad mini had supply problems and the wifi was released in the first week of november, and then the cellular model came out last week of november.

    • Cun Con says:

      There won’t be any 5.5″ version. Don’t expect it. Why? There has been no part leak whatsoever. 3 week delay in mass production means we should’ve seen 5.5″ part leaks already because 4.7″ parts have been leaked all over the places in the last few months…So move on…iPhablet doesn’t make sense and that’s what Apple avoid: non-sense product.

      • There was definitely a leak of the 5.5 dummy model, for case makers, along with the 4.7 model. Also, have you gone on Amazon to see the cases for the 5.5 model? Not saying it’s concrete, but I doubt anyone would pull off that tangible evidence out of their butts.

      • You have obviously haven’t done research or you’d know that the one of the two fastest growing segment of smartphone in Asia is screens larger than 5 inches. Apple is a global company, and they understand how important Asia is to their future growth.

  7. The picture for this article would be perfect for a “You don’t say?” meme.

  8. QHARTZ works w/ #iPhone5s, Google Nexus 4, Galaxy S5 or any smartphone for wireless on-the-go

  9. The only thing “confirmed” in this is that Foxxcon have hired 100,000 more staff. Even that isn’t actually confirmed but, as with everything else in this article, is pure speculation and rumour.

    I HATE how rumours are reported as concrete fact these days just to get some page views. It’s pathetic. Until Apple and/or Foxxcon say otherwise, this will remain speculation and rumour.

  10. Whats that iPhone in The background?
    Man that looks real sexy!!!
    Not at all as the mockups we´ve seen.

  11. engintutav says:


  12. rogifan says:

    But I thought Ming Kuo said no 5.5″ model this year. Now it’s back on again? These guys don’t know squat yet every time one of these stories comes out the rumor sites rush to publish them.

  13. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    These analysts are like little children trying to get attention. It’s a darn shame they can’t get reprimanded for deliberately spreading false information about Apple products. It’s not that Apple should really care, it’s just the idea that its really bad reporting to spread stories without sufficient proof unless they specifically say it’s a rumor. I don’t know what these analysts consider reliable sources but if it isn’t from an official source it should simply be considered a rumor and nothing more.

  14. This new iphone will look like every other one.. Their you heard it here first!!

  15. I thought big screen phones were useless?? I guess not when Apple wants to release one.

    • It’s not that they’re useless, but screen size is definitely not a deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a phone. Would it be nice to have a bigger screen to view my Numbers spreadsheets on? Yes. Would I switch to Samdung if Apple didn’t release a bigger phone? Not in a million years. I have an iPad to view things I need a bigger screen for, it would be a mild perk to be able to do it on my phone on the go.

      • Exactly! I like the current profile of the 5/5s. And with iOS 8 creating it as basically a “hub” device (calling and texting) then, it will serve less and less as a primary source. With Yosemite connecting everything, there will be no real need to have a iPhablet or even the 4.x inch screen. Their Mac OS X and iOS integration makes it questionable whether or not many of us will upgrade.

  16. james0328 says: