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Foxconn employee says Apple placing orders for next iPhone to debut in October

The head of human resources at one Foxconn factory claims that Apple has recently placed an order for its sixth-generation iPhone, and that the device is on schedule to launch in October of 2012.

The official from Foxconn's Taiyuan factory allegedly gave the info and date to South Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper. The original article was translated on Monday by Kotaku.

"We just got the order," the Foxconn human resources head reportedly told the newspaper. "[The release] will be around October."

The paper spoke with the head of human resources because Foxconn's Taiyuan factory has posted many hiring notices of late. The employee confirmed that the factory has been hiring a large number of employees lately as it gears up to assemble Apple's next iPhone.

Rumors have generally pointed toward a fall 2012 launch of the next iPhone, placing it one year after the debut of the iPhone 4S. Last year's iPhone 4S launch was unique because Apple, in years past, had launched new models in the months of June or July.

One report from February claimed that Apple plans to continue to release new iPhone models in the fall for the foreseeable future. Last year's iPhone launch essentially took the place of Apple's annual fall iPod event, but the iPod now represents a much smaller part of Apple's business, which led to it being pushed into the background in 2011.

Apple CEO Tim Cook touring an iPhone production line at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China, via MIC Gadget.

Apple's decision to launch a new iPhone just before the holiday buying season proved to be a successful strategy. The company sold a record 37 million iPhones during the December quarter, achieving 128 percent unit growth over the 2010 holidays.

The latest report contradicts one from last week in which a different Foxconn employee suggested Apple could launch its next-generation iPhone in June. That person claimed Foxconn's Taiyuan factory was gearing up for an iPhone launch much sooner than October by hiring 18,000 employees.