During a television show in China, a Foxconn recruiter went public with information regarding iPhone 5 shipment dates, stating that the next-generation iPhone will be released in June. A television show in Japan asked a recruiter how many people the factory plans on hiring, and the recruiter responded with “[we’re] looking for 18,000 employees… for the fifth-generation phone.” The recruiter then goes on to answer questions about the correlation between hiring and demand for the new iPhone and replies with, “That’s right. It will come out in June.”
Putting aside the assumption that a recruiter would know the shipping date of the next iPhone, and so cavalierly share that information with the public, a June release is pretty suspect at this point. The iPhone 4S didn’t ship until October last year, and at that time there was plenty of speculation that Apple was trying to separate the release of the new iPad and the iPhone at that time, putting more space between the two releases.
Despite the fact that the last iPhone, the iPhone 4S, shipped in October, it didn’t stop some publications from suggesting that the iPhone 5 will be available this summer. The International Business Times kicked off this June rumor by suggesting the iPhone 5 release could happen in March when they published a report that Foxconn was hiring 20,000 employees and that “the plant will reportedly manufacture more than 80% of total iPhone 5 units. Adding more workers in mass number simply reflects that Apple and Foxconn are speeding up the process of manufacturing next generation iPhones.”
Now, circling back to the recruiter. There’s a very slim chance that this glorified gatekeeper at a Foxconn factory would have inside knowledge that Apple would be releasing the iPhone 5 in June. Foxconn may be hiring to help with the iPhone 5 demand, but it’s just as likely that production on the new iPhone would be ramping up through June for a release in October, as Apple would stockpile the device for an October release.