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Apple's two main assembly partners, Foxconn and Pegatron, are said to have begun extra hiring for iPhone production early this year, allegedly owing to the complexity of the "iPhone 7."
The manufacturers started recruiting at least a month earlier than usual, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News, quoted by CNBC. In the case of Foxconn, it was reportedly the first time in two years that Foxconn began hiring in the Chinese mainland in May.
The extended time will be used not just to get a headstart on production, but to provide workers with the increased training needed to deal with Apple's design, EDN said.
It's not clear in what way the "iPhone 7" might be so complex as to require a longer production cycle, since the standard 4.7-inch model is expected to be largely similar to the iPhone 6s, albeit with better internals, relocated antenna bands, and the possibility of it ditching a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. If it is fully waterproof, as some rumors have claimed, that could be one explanation.