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Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) contractor Foxconn may be recruiting a new recruiter.
In a Japanese TV interview, a Foxconn recruiter revealed that the company is going to need 18,000 employees to ramp up production of Apple's next revolutionary smartphone.
"It will come out in June," he said.
Between a neglectful employee at a California beer hall two years ago and a loose-lipped recruiter this time around, it's hard to keep Apple's secrets from trickling these days.
Apple will obviously never confirm the chatter. It may not necessarily be true. Even if the first iPhone 5 handsets begin rolling off the Foxconn assembly line in June, it could still be weeks or months before the retail release takes place.
However, there are a few reasons that it makes perfect sense.
1. Apple has historically released its iPhones in June or July
Dating back to the original iPhone that hit stores in June 2007, Apple has typically stuck to June and July release dates.
The one major exception was last year's iPhone 4S, bumped all the way to October. We may never get the real answer behind Apple's delay last year, but a popular theory is that the Cupertino tech star was hoping that its stateside wireless carriers would have its 4G networks fleshed out in time. When it was taking too long, the iPhone 5 became the iPhone 4S.
2. The 4G revolution is here
Last month's new iPad hit the market with a 4G unit that can be serviced by the country's two largest wireless carriers. AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) are finally far enough in their 4G rollouts to support Apple's dreams of faster connectivity.
If the iPad can now do it, so can a properly equipped iPhone.
3. The Lumia 900 is coming this weekend
Apple isn't afraid of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) or Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) , but Sunday's debut of the Lumia 900 -- Nokia's handset that will be Microsoft's boldest bet yet on its fledgling mobile operating system -- is going to turn heads.
It's cheap. It's rich with features. Early demand has been strong by some accounts.
What does the success of Nokia's handset running Windows Phone have to do with Apple's release calendar? Well, if the phone gains any kind of traction, Apple is going to want to make sure that its iPhone 5 hits the market as soon as possible.
4. CEO Tim Cook doesn't want to let investors down
Why not June? Even if we're talking late June or even early July, Apple probably wants to get its annual iPhone cycle back on historical track.
Apple's stock has been on a tear over the past decade, but it actually fell between late July to late September last year. Could the iPhone 4S delay have played a part or was this mostly concerns about Steve Jobs? Either way, CEO Tim Cook could overcome both concerns by getting Apple back to its early summer iPhone releases.
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