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According to information gathered from parts suppliers for Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone 3GS, the handset is headed for a record quarter. Apple’s Taiwanese suppliers for the iPhone’s components have reported a 31 percent increase in volume of orders placed for the parts, which should indicate a very healthy spike in sales of the smartphone.
The report comes via Taiwan’s online tech industry publication, the DigiTimes, which has provided ample fuel for the rumor fire regarding various Apple devices in the past, as well as reporting on Apple’s business outlook. In the second quarter, the iPhone sold 7.4 million worldwide, but if DigiTimes’ information is accurate, total sales for the third quarter, which end in December for the Mac maker, could reach the 10 million mark.
Numbers are up all across the smartphone component supply industry, but according to information gathered by the Taipei-based market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), much of that increase is due to Apple’s strong sales. Which isn’t to say that Apple’s competitors aren’t having any luck challenging its market dominance, according to MIC analyst Edward Lin:
Samsung is currently the largest supplier in the market, as it supplies for the Apple iPhone series models. However, TI (s txn), which has exited from the baseband business and now focuses on AP development, has rolled out the OMAP 3430 series, which adopts the Cortex A8 architecture and features a clock speed of 1GHz. This offers processor options other than Qualcomm (s qcom), enabling terminal vendors to pair together different communications systems, and it has been well received by many brand-name vendors, such as HTC, Palm (s palm), etc. As a result, TI’s share in the Taiwanese smartphone AP market increased in the third quarter of 2009.
The ability to use different wireless communication standards is something that’s recently come up in rumors surrounding Apple’s next-generation device, and it looks like that rumor is well in keeping with the pulse of the industry at large. Perhaps it isn’t so far-fetched to imagine that the next iPhone could use both GSM- and CDMA-based networks, allowing it to be offered on Verizon (s vz) in the U.S. Of course, then some of Apple’s commercials would become factually incorrect.
Regardless of what’s coming, third-quarter sales of 10 million is a huge win for Cupertino. Looking at recent developments, its easy to spot the source of this late-game success. Apple has opened up sales of its device to many more carriers at the international level, expanding into new territory in the UK, Canada and France, to name a few. It’s also finally gained official access to the massive Chinese market, which paves the way for a lot of potential success, despite early setbacks.