According to a report, Apple has ordered as many as 15 million iPhone 5’s from Pegatron, a well-known computer manufacturing contractor. The new iPhones are expected to start shipping in September 2011, which is in line with previous reports.
Pegatron is reportedly aggressively hiring at its Shanghai, China plants to make room for manufacturing for Apple, which has recently contracted Pegatron to assemble CDMA-based iPhones (mainly for use within the Verizon network in the US).
Due to its cooperation with Apple for iPhone 4, Pegatron, in 2010, significantly expanded its plants, human power and equipment aiming satisfy the orders for 10 million CDMA iPhone 4s; however, since the Apple’s CDMA iPhone 4 sales were lower than expected in the first quarter of 2011, Pegatron shipped less than four million CDMA iPhone 4s, causing the company’s utilization rate to drop to only 50% with its gross margin also drop to 1.8% in the quarter.
According to the source, and in line with previous reports, the next-generation iPhone isn’t expected to include any major design changes, instead focusing on improving the hardware. If previous reports are to be believed, the iPhone 5 will sport a faster dual-A5 processor, as opposed to the single-core A4 currently built into the iPhone 4, and an 8-megapixel camera, instead of the 5-megapixel one found on the current iPhone.
Most of the work assembling the iPhone has been traditionally given to Foxconn, which is also responsible for putting together many of Apple’s products, including MacBooks. Pegatron is reportedly attempting to become just as big in the manufacturing of Apple products, such as iPads and MacBooks, although it hasn’t been successful as of yet:
Pegatron has also been aggressive striving for iPad or Macbook orders from Apple, but due to the products’ existing makers are defending their orders, Pegatron currently still has not yet achieved any progress.
Over the past decade, most major electronics manufacturers have felt the need to hire other companies to assemble their products, so that they can focus on research and development. Manufacturing giants like Foxconn have built their footprint exclusively through putting together hardware for major hardware makers, including Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard. Although both Foxconn and Pegatron will be responsible for assembling iPhone 5’s, all devices should look and behave the same way, regardless of who has assembled them.
The next-generation iPhone has reportedly reached final testing stages and is now being passed around executives at both carriers and Apple. The new phone is expected to be announced at a music event in September.