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TV Tokyo's "World Business Satellite" (WBS) show broadcast a report (Google translation) on Monday that included footage of a personnel recruitment office for Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn, as noted by Macotakara.
In one recorded scene, a woman asked a Foxconn recruiter how many people the factory is looking to hire.
"We're looking for 18,000 employeesâ¦for the fifth-generation phone," he said.
"Is that because demand is high for the 'iPhone 5?'" she asked.
"That's right. It will come out in June."
Though the iPhone 4S is Apple's actual fifth-generation iPhone, Chinese pundits have continued to refer to the upcoming sixth-generation handset as the "iPhone 5."
According to the report, Foxconn already employs 80,000 workers at its Taiyuan plant. The manufacturer has long been Apple's principal partner for producing the iPhone. Just last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited an iPhone production line at a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, China.
Foxconn made headlines last week when it announced that it was buying a 10 percent share of Japanese LCD maker Sharp. The deal prompted Monday's report from WBS, as the reporter was investigating struggles within the Japanese LCD panel industry and efforts by Korean and Taiwanese companies gain share as a result.
It should be noted that the June date allegedly provided by a Foxconn recruitment officer remains highly questionable. For instance, it's unclear how a low-level employee within the company would already know Apple's release schedule when the iPhone maker is notorious for its high level of secrecy.