Reports say Apple is planning a big haul of iPhones for the second half of 2011, boosting its orders for all iPhones and increasing iPhone 5 orders up to as much as 26 million.
The report comes from DigiTimes by way of SlashGear, which reports that Apple has increased orders on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS model for the last quarter of the year. Apple also has reportedly reversed the numbers of orders for the third and fourth quarters of the year for the iPhone 5: it changed its order to 5.5 million units from 7 million for Q3, and boosted its Q4 order to 20 million units from 14 million.
DigiTimes cites unnamed sources at upstream device component suppliers that produce iPhone pieces for Apple in Asia. By the end of the December, the publication expects there to have been a total of 95 million iPhones shipped this year altogether. If Apple sells all 20 or 25 million iPhone 5 units, it’ll have surpassed its record-breaking second quarter of 2011, during which Apple brought in $28.57 billion in revenue. The change in shipments from Q3 to Q4 adds a little credence to the circulating rumor that it’s not September, but October, when Apple will launch its new handset. It may also help Apple double its market share, as one analyst predicts.
Big sales predicted plus new devices
We’ve already heard that Apple is expecting some big sales from the iPhone 5 later this year, but it seems even those reports were undershooting where the company envisions the second half of 2011 shaking out. It’s not clear whether those orders include some of the other rumored iPhones that might be hitting shelves later this year: either a less expensive, scaled-down version of the iPhone 4 for prepaid customers, or the none-too-likely web-based “Cloud iPhone” rumored last week.
The prepaid iPhone 4 at least seems more plausible. Rumor has it that the device will be less expensive than the regular iPhone 4 to facilitate people buying it without the need for a contract with a wireless provider. Supposedly it’ll have a plastic chassis rather than the traditional glass, among other cost-saving maneuvers internally.
The Cloud iPhone, on the other hand, is a version of the cheap, prepaid iPhone 4 that popped-up in rumors a few days ago. That phone will supposedly make heavy use of Apple’s upcoming iCloud service and be devoid of internal storage, instead streaming most everything from the cloud. That device seems pretty unlikely, however, because of the strain on cell networks to constantly be trading data over the air, not to mention that whatever was saved by consumers on the cost of the device would quickly get chewed up by their monthly wireless bills.
But DigiTimes’ numbers aren’t necessarily in left field, especially given how well Apple has been doing lately, especially with the iPhone in markets abroad. Launch day iPhone sales continue to be bigger, with more demand. It’s possible 56 million new iPhones in stores this holiday season isn’t just possible, but probable.