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Apple Ramping Up Production Ahead of Next-Generation iPhone Launch

Screen shot 2011-03-08 at 1.08.14 AM.pngDigiTimes is reporting their estimates for iPhone production in the second half of this year, with Apple already increasing their production orders 12-13% from 50 million up to 56 million units. They believe that the next-generation iPhone will make up about half of the order at 25.5-26 million units in the second half of 2011.

Drilling down further, DigiTimes believes that Apple production orders for third calendar quarter has been decreased from 7 million units to 5.5-6 million units, and production in 4th calendar quarter has been bumped from 14 million to 20 million units. While all of this is going on, unit shipments of the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 will slump from over 20 million units in the third calendar quarter, down to 8 million units in forth calendar quarter.

These numbers do not seem that far out of league with the trends we see in iPhone sales. That is, sales continue to accelerate throughout the year, every year, and see a dramatic peak in sales during the holiday quarter. If one were to extrapolate on the numbers presented in DigiTimes report, you would find that unit production for calendar Q3 would be 25.5 million, and 28 million of Q4. That’s a significant jump no matter how you slice it.

Lastly, what about that pesky 8 million iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 units? Where the hell are those coming from? Granted the next-generation iPhone is expected to launch in September-October, that’s still a lot of ongoing sales of older hardware once the new iPhone ships. Perhaps it would have to do with Apple’s slower international roll-out? After all, the company does tend to hit the US, and a few other markets first, and in that meantime, Apple still sells older iPhone hardware to those who need it.

At any rate, these are fantastic numbers. That’s why we’ll likely never see them. Apple is doing great these days. But nearly 30 million units in this holiday quarter? That seems nearly impossible to me. We’ll see what happens soon enough I suppose.

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  • jhrogersii

    If this report is true, then it would indicate that earlier rumors of a free or low price off contract 3GS may have been false. I wonder if Apple is still considering making a play for the pre-paid market? It makes up a HUGE chunk of sales outside of the US.