iPhone 6 concept (ConceptsPhone 001)

The Commercial Times newspaper reported last week that Apple’s contract manufacturer Pegatron is gearing up to kick off mass production of the iPhone 6 in the second quarter of this year at its China-based plant in Kunshan.

On Monday, The China Times newspaper claimed new information saying that Pegatron has landed orders for both large-sized iPhones and iPad Airs.

However, contrary to The Commercial Times story, Pegatron is actually said to start the operation of the Kunshan plant, which is located in China’s Jiangsu Province, in the third quarter of this year.

That facility will be solely dedicated to churning out Apple products. For reference, Pegatron is the primary manufacturer of the iPhone 5c and iPad mini…

The story by Taiwan-based China Times (Google translate), reiterates that Pegatron and Foxconn hold a majority of Apple’s orders for the next iPhone(s).

Liberty Times was first to report back in January that Foxconn and Pegatron would be splitting iPhone 6 production. Anticipating large orders from Apple, Pegatron recently started recruiting workers in China and opened up a new factory space.

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Pegatron’s earnings rose sharply on its Apple ties, with earnings growing by 22 percent. The manufacturer’s contract with Apple accounts for 40 percent of its revenue.

Now, the China Times story also mentions that Apple has tasked Compal Electronics and Wistron Corporation with producing a small quantity of previous-generation products.

Compal and Wistron, along with another Taiwanese firm called Inventec Appliances, are newcomers to the Apple supply chain and their primary responsibility is help build iPhones, iPod touches and iPads in 2014.

Apple’s bid to diversify manufacture of iOS devices should boost its bargaining power while strengthening shipment stability. DigiTimes reported this morning that Apple is moving from labor-intensive iPhone battery assembly to fully automated processes that will help keep production costs down.

The iPhone 6 is expected to feature a larger, higher resolution display, a thinner profile, three new sensors, an improved eight-megapixel camera, sapphire-strenthened cover glass and more.

We are expecting the iPhone 6 by Fall, despite several reports calling for a summer launch. Now that the device is about to enter manufacturing, we should start seeing part leaks soon.