Apple iPhone Shipments Increase to 15 Million, Report Claims

Up to 15 million iPhones may be shipped in 2011, a Taiwanese report quoting unnamed sources claims.

A report in the Taiwanese publication DigiTimes claimed sources at Pegatron Technology, a notebook manufacturer, has increased its shipment of CDMA iPhones orders to 12-15 million units this year. "Pegatron originally only forecasted internally to ship about 10 million CDMA iPhones in 2011, but as demand continues to stay strong, the company has recently increased its internal shipment forecast to 12-15 million units," the report stated.

The new CDMA variant of the iPhone 4 is designed to be compatible with Verizon's network, on which Apple will launch the popular mobile device Feb. 10. While Apple shocked markets on Monday with the unexpected news that CEO Steve Jobs would again be taking a leave of absence from the company, another DigiTimes report quoted unnamed sources saying "upstream partners such as Largan Precision, Genius Electronic Optical and Asia Optical for optical lens supply as well as Pegatron Technology, should not be impacted by the sick leave". Although the details of his condition and any potential return date are not available, Steve Jobs's battle with pancreatic cancer since 2004 is well documented. This represents his third medical leave during this time. Similar to the 2009 medical leave, Steve Jobs has left Tim Cook (COO) in charge of Apple. ???As arguably the most iconic CEO in the world, we believe Apple's stock will come under heavy selling pressure on Tuesday," said Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. "If the stock goes into a significant downturn in the coming weeks on this news and/or further developments in the future, we believe Apple would be wise to tap into its $51 billion net cash position for a significant stock repurchase or a generous cash dividend."Jobs's letter to Apple employees was posted on the company's Web site Monday, explaining the board of directors has granted him a medical leave of absence so he can focus on his health, but he would continue to serve as CEO as Cook took over day-to-day operations. "I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011," Jobs wrote. "I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy."However, the firm's general out look for the company was overwhelmingly positive, citing Tim Cook's "excellent" performance as interim CEO during Jobs's medical leave in 2009. "We believe 2011 will prove to be a great year for the fundamentals at Apple as the iPhone gains continued momentum and starts to tap into CDMA networks around the world," Ticonderoga's report concluded. "Also, we expect the iPad to start gaining mass adoption, while we anticipate the Mac product line to remain strong."Apple is scheduled to report its first quarter 2011 earnings results with a conference call set for this afternoon.