New iPhone 5 reportedly in production

As eager Apple fans work themselves into a frenzy over the next-generation iPhone, a new report suggests the device is already in production in China.

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Pegatron has begun production of the hotly anticipated smartphone at a Shanghai plant, Digitimes has reported, citing “industry sources in Taiwan”. If true, the news could mean Apple has abandoned long-time manufacturing partner Foxconn, whose president recently proclaimed that the iPhone 5 “will put Samsung's Galaxy S3 to shame.”

Orders of the iPhone 5 will reportedly make up for Pegatron’s projected third-quarter drop in notebook production, Digitimes’ sources have said, though that does not necessarily preclude the involvement of secondary manufacturers.

The iPhone 5 is expected to be launched in September, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, the latest in a string of analysts predicting the device will be available sooner than the originally expected October release date.

“iPhone 5 to debut in September. But due to in-cell touch panel and casing yield rate limits, ability to offset older models’ shipments decrease will be moderate,” Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, noted in a report quoted by MacRumors.

Digitimes has also said that Pegatron will serve as a second manufacturing partner for a new iPad to ship in the year’s third quarter, though it’s not clear whether this refers to the rumoured iPad mini or to a new and improved version of the current 10in model.