Reports coming from Taiwan and Japan, which according to MacRumors were picked up by Industrial & Commercial Times and MacOtakara respectively, appear to indicate that Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron has started production activities for the tech giant's 2014 iPhone thrust.
Pegatron is one of the iPhone maker's two major mobile device assemblers from Asia. The one is Foxconn, which according to Apple Insider is slated to take up some 85 per cent of iPhone production duties this 2014.
Specifically, Pegatron is tasked to deliver some 50 million units of iOS-powered smartphones comprising of the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 6. The Taiwan-based manufacturer is said to assume responsibilities in putting together the initial batch of 4.7-inch iPhone 6 shipments.
"Apple supplier Pegatron has received 15 per cent of the orders for Apple's upcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6 ahead of the device's launch this September," said the MacRumors report.
The new reports, Apple Insider said, point to a shift in ramped up production mode as early as late Q2 2014 and continuing into late August or early September.
"To accommodate the influx of new orders, Pegatron is reportedly offloading production to a new facility in Kunshan," said the same report from Apple Insider, noting too that 35 million units in 2014 Pegatron is seeing significant order upgrades from Apple.
Analysts view the iPhone 6 production distributions between Foxconn and Pegatron as Apple's way of ensuring that sufficient shipment numbers will be realised ahead of the target launch date in order to eliminate or minimise delays and supply shortages that plagued iPhone releases in the past.
Note too that there was no mention of the phablet-size 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in the report and the development seems to makes sense as analysts like Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities have predicted that the bigger model will not be unwrapped until December 2014.
The delay is mainly caused by production challenges involving the device's jumbo display panel and sapphire glass cover, Kuo explained in a recent research note.
It appears too that Pegatron and Foxconn will cease production of the ageing iPhone 4 this year. Following its brief return in late 2013, the iPhone 4 is again stamped for retirement, BGR said in a report, adding that the move is final this time.
Kuo has stated that Apple is planning two separate iPhone 6 release dates this 2014 - the first one will be on September 2014 for the 4.7-inch build, as mentioned above, and the other one is for the supersized first iOS phablet at 5.5-inch that is tentatively set around Christmas time of the same year.