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Sources say Apple boosts shipment of CDMA iPhones for early 2011

by Phil Hornshaw

Ready for more unsourced rumors about the future of the iPhone next year? We’ve got them, but they’re a little thin.

Taiwanese-based DigiTimes is reporting that unnamed sources at Taiwanese component suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron have received orders to bump iPhone shipments next year from 19 million to between 20 and 21 million next year. That includes raising shipments up to 5 to 6 million CDMA iPhones, which are rumored to appear on Verizon (VZ) in the early part of 2011 in North America, and with China Telecom in Asia.

That’s up from the 15.5 million iPhone units DigiTimes says were shipped globally in the fourth quarter of 2010, helping to put the grand total of iPhones moved this year up to 47 million across the globe.

Where does that put the state of the iPhone? For one, China Unicom, the current exclusive iPhone-supporting carrier in China, is still struggling to meet demand for the device, after it was released in September. Apple (AAPL) seems to be responding to those concerns and probably increasing the number of units available here in the States as well.

If the rumors about the CDMA components prove to be true, it would appear that Apple is prepping for a big Verizon launch -- not exactly news, but it should mean that the company will be ready to meet demand of customers converting to the iOS device on the new carrier. Of course, that’s assuming we actually see a Verizon iPhone in the next few months.

Samsung announces iPod Touch competitor Galaxy Player

Let's take a break from iOS device rumors to talk about something concrete: Samsung (005930.KS) is prepping to show off a new Android-based media player at CES 2011 next month.

The Galaxy Player, which is based on the Galaxy S phone, will be pretty similar except for the cell connectivity -- basically, the Galaxy answer to the iPod Touch, which is a whole lot like the iPhone. It’ll be a music player primarily, but because it runs Google’s Android’s 2.2 Froyo OS, will include all the app bells and whistles one would expect, including access to the Android Market.

Much like the iPod Touch, Samsung has said the player sports a 4-inch LCD screen, a 16Hz CPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, GPS capabilities, a 3.2-megapixel rear camera and a VGA front-facing camera. You’ll also get a lot of cool, non-iOS available extras: a microSD card slot, for one, and a removable battery.

So good news, Android fans: in a couple month, you’ll have a music player akin to the iPod Touch, and you won’t need a phone or a tablet computer to use the Android OS. Samsung says the Galaxy Player will be available in three different models: 8-gigabytes, 16GB and 32GB, so you’ll be getting lots of options for a non-iOS player starting in 2011.