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Supply chain sources point to high holiday expectations for iPhone 5

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Apple (s aapl) is increasing its iPhone orders for the second half of 2011, according to sources within the company’s supply chain speaking to DigiTimes on Monday. Order volume has been adjusted upward by 15 percent according to the publication, bringing the sum total of iPhones ordered to more than 56 million. Of that number, around 26 million will be Apple’s next-gen iPhone 5, the sources say.

The bulk of Apple’s iPhone 5 orders will ship out in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the report. Third quarter (ending in September) orders are around 5.5 to 6 million units, which is down from an initially planned volume of 7 million, DigiTimes says, which could suggest either that Apple is indeed targeting an October release date for iPhone 5, or maybe narrowing the list of countries that might see the new device in September. At the same time, the supply sources suggest orders for the fourth quarter will go from 14 million to 20 million units, which again supports the idea that one or more countries has been dropped from the initial launch group and shifted to those getting the device a little later.

The orders indicate Apple is very optimistic about the sales potential of its next device. Its previous record quarter saw 18.65 million iPhones sold, and that was during the second quarter of 2011, when it was already nearly a year old. There’s plenty of reason to believe Apple could topple that record, since this new device would be launching just in time for the holiday season, and also will feature completely updated specs and features, as well as Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 5.

Fourth quarter orders for the iPhone 4 will reportedly dwindle to around 8 million, down from 20 million for the third quarter. It’s to be expected that Apple would cut production of its legacy devices to make way for a new models. Typically, we see the company keep the last model (the iPhone 4 in this case) as a lower-cost option, and drop the model before that (the iPhone 3GS). Some reports claim we’ll see a lower-cost line of iPhones this time around, so maybe the 3GS will survive in some capacity.

What do you think? Is Apple setting its expectations too high, or will this iPhone really be the company’s strongest seller yet?

7 Responses to “Supply chain sources point to high holiday expectations for iPhone 5”

  1. Dana Stevens

    There is tremendous demand for the Iphone5 and will far exceed their expectations. I keep, on my desk, a newspaper article from the first launch of the Iphone and how they mentioned it was not a game changer. Ya, right, in your face. The smartphone market is completely different then before the launch of the Iphone.

    RIM shows you how to blow an advantage. Prepare for lines out the door for this product.

  2. Oh my god oh my god, I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t wait…….for Steve jobs to die and go away and for all of the iSlaves to wake up and realize they are letting Crapple become a monopoly. Why doesn’t the government step in and stop their bullying against competing tech companies. The patent wars are getting out of hand and Crapple can’t be allowed to get away with these frivolous lawsuits. Come on wake up people, even though they break the law and and perform illegal actions to force their competition out of business you people still love them and grant praise over them and do whatever they want you to do. You don’t realize that you are not individuals, you just continue to be part of the cult of Crapple and let them get away with breaking the law. Someone needs to wake up and stop them NOW!!!

    • Do you actually believe what you just wrote? Don’t buy into the hype. Apple is just playing the game. Look up nokia patent suits. They are the real problem. They just patent every thought under the sun and sit back and wait for companies to use it. Then gloat about it. Apple actually has a legitimate case where samsung blatantly copied the i-suite. At least they protect patents they’ve implimented. Apple gets hit with these lawsuits as well. They need to protect their investments. In paraphrase when the first iPhone came out they said, this thing has a lot of patents and you better believe were going to protect them.