Apple Orders 15 Million iPhone 5 Smartphones: Rumor

Apple has contracted a supplier to build 15 million iPhone 5 units for a fall launch, according to a new report.

Apple has contracted with Pegatron Technology to build 15 million iPhone 5 smartphones, according to DigiTimes.

The Taiwanese publication sourced unnamed "upstream component makers" for the information, as Pegatron itself apparently refused to comment. "The sources pointed out that as the iPhone 5, which does not seem to have any major update from iPhone 4, is already set for shipment in September," read the July 5 report, "they are already started supplying components to Pegatron with Pegatron's plants in Shanghai, China."

DigiTimes has been pounding a steady drumbeat of iPhone 5-related rumors in recent days. On July 1, it suggested that Apple is prepping to release the smartphone in the fall time frame, along with a new iPad.

"Sources pointed out that Apple only plans to launch one model of the new iPhone, while iPad 3 has just recently been added to the production schedule," read that report, "with both set to be produced in small volumes in August, and volume will start picking up in September and October."

A fall release of the iPhone 5 has been the focus of many a recent Apple-related rumor. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty recently stated in a note to investors that the next iPhone "will begin production in mid-to-late August and ramp aggressively." Her information apparently came from talks with unnamed sources in Taiwan.

Bloomberg also reported June 21 that the next iPhone will debut in September and include the company's faster A5 processor, along with an 8-megapixel camera and the recently introduced iOS 5 mobile operating system. In addition, that report claimed Apple is developing a smaller, cheaper iPhone that uses "chips and displays of similar quality to today's iPhone 4." That device will apparently embrace the iPhone 4's design aesthetic.

The blog Boy Genius Report had previously cited August as a possible start date for the iPhone 5's launch. "According to our source, Apple may hold an event in the beginning or middle of August to announce the new iPhone, with availability to follow in the last week of August," read a June 21 posting, which predicted that Apple would use a "radical new case design" for the smartphone.

As for DigiTimes' iPad 3 rumor from last week, that runs counter to the publication's own April report, which suggested it was unlikely that Apple would release an iPad 3 in 2011. That report cited unnamed "upstream component makers."

During a June 6 presentation at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, company executives claimed that more than 200 million iOS devices had been sold. Apple faces Google's fast-growing Android platform, along with Microsoft's Windows Phone and Research In Motion's BlackBerry franchise, for the hearts and dollars of consumers.

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