An earlier rumor claiming that a Foxconn hiring manager had confirmed that the iPhone 5 release date was on track for a June release has been refuted. The new source? Another Foxconn HR manager.
Why can’t Foxconn get their rumor mongering straight?
Less than a week after Japanese rumor site Macotakara posted that Foxconn HR recruiters had confirmed that the recent spate of hirings were in anticipation of a June iPhone 5 release date, yet another HR professional at Foxconn has gone on record about the upcoming iPhone release, saying it won’t come until October.
Citing South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper, Kotaku claims that “the paper asked the head of human resources at Foxconn’s Taiyuan factory about the iPhone 5 release date. The human resources head apparently told the paper, “We just got the order. It [the release] will be around October.” The articles goes on to report that “The Maeil Business Newspaper reporter phoned the Foxconn factory in Taiyuan, and spoke to the H&R head. “Yes, it’s true we are hiring a large number of workers,” the human resources head told the paper.” However, when the Maeil Business Newspaper followed up with Foxconn’s PR Director, they were declined an official comment from the company.
Where does this leave us with the prospect of a June iPhone 5 release date?
It’s worth noting that none of these production rumors rise to the level of being “smoking gun” proof one way or another of when the iPhone 5 will be released. Rather, all of the stories and “chatter” begins to build up something more like a preponderance of circumstantial evidence. The original Foxconn report came from Macotakara, who has a middling track record for getting rumors correct.
At the same time, the Maeil Business Newspaper, in spite of their more official-sounding publication name, doesn’t really offer us a confirmed quote or source that is any more or less credible than the Macotakara article. In fact, both stories say almost exactly the same thing: that it is true that Foxconn is hiring a mass of new workers, and that their specific role is to build the new iPhone. Both reports also acknowledge to some extent that Foxconn has received the order for iPhone 5 production to commence.
The only difference is that this new rumor has a Foxconn executive claiming that the release will come in October, not June.
At worst, this story simply negates the first Foxconn rumor. But I am more inclined to see this new leak from Foxconn as damage control on Apple’s part, since we have to think of Cupertino’s role in all of this. If the first story is in fact true, and Apple’s iPhone 5 release schedule was indeed leaked by Foxconn HR, it would make sense to have another HR executive refute the claim, all in a bid to negate the story. It makes less sense to me that Foxconn would make two very candid remarks about the iPhone 5 production and release schedule less than two weeks apart — unless the second one was planned and scripted.
In the weeks to come, we’ll look out for other pieces to the iPhone 5 release date puzzle: mainly, iOS 6 rumors and/or a surprise beta release, and leaked photos of iPhone 5 components. We did have some good luck in seeing iPad 3 parts prior to the New iPad’s official release, after all. In the meantime, however, all we’re left to ponder are these Foxconn fables.
By Michael Nace