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'Thousands' apply at Foxconn ahead of rumored iPhone, iPad mini build

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Reports from China claim that thousands of job seekers are lining up outside of Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn's Chengdu plant in hopes of landing a position at the factory as summer hiring ramps up ahead of rumored next-generation iPhone and smaller iPad launches.

According to Chinese electronics blog M.I.C. Gadget, "thousands" of people gathered in front of Foxconn's Chengdu plant to vie for a large number of "summer job" slots that have only one stipulation: applicants must have good eyesight.

Sources claim that openings still remain but are filling up fast and note that a smaller "iPad mini" may possibly be rolling off the assembly line. This is contrary to a previous report which had the rumored 7-inch tablet set for manufacture at Foxconn's plant in Jundiai, Brazil.

Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory is also hiring workers and sources there say the plant is currently producing Apple's next-generation iPhone albeit on a very small scale. The insider claims that the production line's over 100 workers rolled out a mere five units during a recent night shift, and goes on to explain the upcoming iPhone is said to be in the "trial production stage."

Source: M.I.C. Gadget

While AppleInsider cannot validate these claims, the report is consistent with earlier rumors that said Apple's sixth-generation iPhone is currently being manufactured.

Apple's rumored next-generation handset is expected to launch some time this fall with a larger 4-inch display and newly-designed "uni-body" chassis. A smaller version of the company's popular iPad is also widely rumored to debut later this year with recent "leaks" pointing to a 7-inch screen and slightly modified case design. A report from The New York Times claims the so-called "iPad mini" will be priced below $499 to meet entry-level market demand.