Rumor says Apple expects high iPhone 5 sales, planning September launch

Jul 5, 2011
Tech

More potential “information” regarding the upcoming iPhone 5 backs up the things we’ve been hearing: an incremental update slated for a September launch. New talk to go with it suggests Apple is planning to sell a lot of iPhone 5s based on sales of the iPhone 4. The information comes from a DigiTimes story that […]

More potential “information” regarding the upcoming iPhone 5 backs up the things we’ve been hearing: an incremental update slated for a September launch. New talk to go with it suggests Apple is planning to sell a lot of iPhone 5s based on sales of the iPhone 4.

The information comes from a DigiTimes story that sites unnamed “upstream component makers” who work with notebook maker Pegatron Technology, a Taiwanese tech company that assembles iPhones for Apple. Pegatron also builds notebooks for several tech companies and assembles the PlayStation 3 for Sony.

Those upstream component makers supposedly say they’re already sending parts to Pegatron, which is in line with the rumored September release that pretty much everyone on the Internet is accepting as Apple’s overall plan. They also say that, based on the parts, the iPhone 5 won’t be a huge update from the iPhone 4. We’ve heard that it’ll mostly be the same phone, hardware design and internal technology, but the major improvement of including the A5 processor chip that Apple debuted with the iPad 2.

The sources also speculate that Pegatron has orders from Apple as high as 15 million, which is up significantly from the 10 million that Apple ordered in CDMA (Verizon) iPhone 4s earlier this year. Pegatron is in a good position to fulfill a lot of iPhone orders, as it expanded its plants and staffing in order to take on those CDMA iPhone orders. That’s good and bad, according to DigiTimes, because Pegatron only ended up shipping 4 million CDMA iPhones because of low demand for the device, which saw the “utilization rate drop to only 50 percent with its gross margin also drop to 1.8 percent in the quarter.”

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While DigiTimes suggests the sales for the CDMA iPhone were lower than what was expected, Apple has moved a ton of iPhone 4s in general since it was launched a year ago. Back in April, Apple announced in its second quarter earnings report that it had sold 18.65 million iPhones in Q1 2011, which was the first quarter to also include sales of the Verizon iPhone. Those sales figures account for Apple supposedly upping its order numbers for the iPhone 5.

Pegatron and DigiTimes don’t have a firm date on the iPhone 5 yet, and obviously, the device remains unannounced by Apple. What this new rumor doesn’t back up, however, were the fast but unsubstantiated rumors of there being two iPhones coming in September – one the incremental update that DigiTimes’ sources refer to as the iPhone 5 but that others have referred to as the iPhone 4S, and the other a more powerful, more drastically updated device known as the iPhone 5.

That rumor came from a few financial analysts speculating that Apple could capture more of the global cell phone market by releasing an unlocked iPhone 4S for prepaid customers, but it doesn’t seem too likely that Apple is going to significantly deviate from its standard hardware roll-out by pushing out two new iPhones this fall.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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