Foxconn nearing new iPhone production, reports point to summer launch

Reports are coming in that Apple’s(s AAPL) chief manufacturing partner in China is hiring like crazy to start producing a new iPhone. On Monday the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both reported Foxconn is ramping up by recruiting thousands of workers in one of its main Chinese facilities.

Bloomberg says the hiring began in mid-March at a Zhengzhou factory, that already has 250,000 to 300,000 people, for working on a new Apple device as well as older model iPhones. The Journal says Foxconn has been hiring 10,000 new workers for assembly line production each week since then.

The Wall Street Journal got a quote from one unnamed Foxconn executive that works at the factory to corroborate the story:

“We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon,” said a Zhengzhou-based executive who has direct knowledge of production plans.

The timing of a prepping a new device for production would point to an earlier introduction than the fall, which the iPhone has seen for the past two years. And that does line up with other reports from earlier this month that Apple is planning on a summer iPhone launch.