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Thursday, December 10, 2009, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Foxconn reportedly tapped to manufacture next-gen iPhone

Foxconn, Apple's Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer, has reportedly received an order to build the next-generation handset, likely to arrive in mid-2010.

Eldar Murtazin, editor in chief of Mobile Review, broke the news on his Twitter account Thursday in a brief, singular post: "Foxconn received order for next generation iphone." As noted by Engadget, Murtazin is the "ultimate insider" for news in the mobile phone world.

The timing makes sense, as Apple's first three iPhone product debuts hit a June launch. For Apple to ramp up the production of millions of handsets in time for a global debut would take a significant amount of time.

Despite there being some time yet until the next-generation iPhone debuts, there are plenty of rumors surrounding the anticipated device. In November, the first signs of a model "iPhone 3,1" was tracked by a developer in its software usage logs, suggesting Apple was testing a new handset.

Apple has indicated it intends to overhaul its iPhone maps application with in-house developers. The company's purchase of worldwide mapping company Placebase over the summer would likely play a part in any new features.

Reports have also said Apple is testing RFID swipe support in next-generation iPhone prototypes. Such technology would allow the phone to sense embedded chips without making direct contact. The feature could allow swipe payments with the phone at checkout at a store, or obtaining information from kiosks.

Apple is also expected to build its own proprietary iPhone chips based off of ARM's A9 reference designs, thanks to the $278 million purchase of chip designer PA Semi in 2008. The new iPhone could have multi-core ARM chips powering it.

And there's also the question of a Verizon-capable CDMA iPhone. Conflicting reports have differed on the possibility of a dual-mode CDMA and GSM world phone debuting in 2010, though Verizon and chipset maker Qualcomm are said to have been in talks. And Wall Street analyst are also divided on the subject, with just as many arguing for a possible deal as those against.