iPhone 5S, iPad mini 2, iPad 5 Release Date Closer? What Apple Product Is Foxconn Preparing For?

Another day, another Apple rumor, but this time there might actually be something happening. Over the last few months, we've heard that the iPhone 5S, iPad mini 2 or iPad 5 could all be delayed, but a new report indicates that production on one of these devices is slated to begin very soon.

The iPad and iPhone manufacturer Foxconn announced on Monday that it has added about 10,000 assembly-line employees to a production facility Zhengzhou, China.

So what is being manufactured? We've already heard rumors of a delay in iPad 5 production, so could it be the iPhone 5S?

According to a new Wall Street Journal report, the company wouldn't officially name which Apple device it was going to begin manufacturing, but the paper's sources were much more willing to speak anonymously. Citing "executives familiar with the situation," the WSJ said that work would begin on the new iPhone, meaning it's likely the iPhone 5S.

"We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon," said a Zhengzhou-based Foxconn executive with direct knowledge of production plans.

Aside from the new iPhone, which many think will be revealed during the summer, it's possible that a new, cheaper iPhone mini will accompany it as Apple tries to make inroads in emerging markets.

2013 will be an important year for Apple as it tries to fend off aggressive attacks from Samsung and its Galaxy S series. The Galaxy S4 is expected to build off the S3's success, and Cupertino needs a big showing from the iPhone 5S to maintain or increase its share of the market.

For Foxconn, too, whose profits largely rely on iPhone and iPad demand, it's important. The company didn't bring in as much money as expected during its first quarter, leading many to conclude it was due to disappointing iPhone 5 sales.

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