When a new iPhone is imminent, it enters the first phase of production. This is known as trial production, and involves assembling just a small number of the new handsets to prepare for mass production later. According to recent reports, assemblers Foxconn and Luxshare have begun the iPhone 14 trial production phase.
The Goals of iPhone 14 Trial Production
When an iPhone assembler begins the trial production stage, it has four main goals. First, the assembler plans its production process to identify any problems that might crop up. Second, the manufacturer evaluates its planned assembly process with an eye to improving efficiency.
The third goal is data collection, including how many units the plant can assemble per hour. Finally, the factory must use the trial production phase to develop a suitable quality monitoring process.
Assembly by Two Apple Partners
In 2021, Apple promoted Luxshare to an iPhone assembler, including some iPhone 13 Pro units. Previously, the manufacturer was responsible only for for serving as a component supplier. According to some reports, Luxshare will still be an assembler for the iPhone, but only for the base-model iPhone 14.
Foxconn, apparently, will get the contract for assembling all of Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models, according to Taiwan Economic Daily.
Apple iPhone 14 has recently entered the OEM trial production operation. It is reported that the [Chinese] factory Luxshare has not yet obtained the new product trial production import mass production service order (NPI), and will miss the [opportunity to manufacture Pro models, which are the most profitable to make].
For the high-end iPhone 14, this year, it may only get orders for the basic iPhone 14 and become the second supplier. [Foxconn is] firmly seated as the leading iPhone OEM, and this year’s iPhone 14 orders are “safe.”
Timeline From iPhone 14 Trial Production to Launch
As in previous years, assemblers should begin trial production toward the end of February. That should put Apple on track to announce the new flagship smartphone in the fall of 2022. Rumors have indicated some major design changes for the new handset.
Among the changes, analysts suggest the iPhone 14 will reduce the Face ID notch to a hole-punch design. This could be a single camera, or a pill-shaped hole with Face ID built in. Memory may also be more plentiful in the iPhone 14, with up to 8GB in the Pro models (currently, the iPhone 13 Pro has 6GB of RAM).
Reports have also suggested some iPhone 14 models seeing a vastly-upgraded 48MP camera, quadruple the megapixels currently available. If Apple holds to previous timelines, the iPhone 14 announcement will come in September or October.