From a trickle to a torrent, iPhone 5 production ramps

September 8, 2011

The worldwide supply chain and global machinery complex that is the iPhone 5 is now in motion, says a fresh rumor from the Silicon Isle. The initial numbers are impressive with daily production already at 150,000 units and shipments for this month alone to hit up to 6 million. Nevertheless, it won’t be enough.

Somewhere out there is an iPhone 5 prototype, perhaps lost. Perhaps not.

It’s importance, however, will soon fade. Best Buy is leaking that Apple’s smartphone next will arrive during the first week of October, likely on the sixth or seventh. We’ve also learned that Sprint and Deutsche Telecom are making iPhone plans.

Dwarfing of all this is the activity at Foxconn, Apple’s primary Asian OEM, where DigiTimes says iPhone 5 production has hit 150,000 units per day with volume shipments expected to begin any day now.

In fact, a whole chorus of suppliers — TPK Holding (panels), G-Tech Optoelectronics (glass), Simplo and Dynapack (batteries) — have all hit their stride as Apple prepares, whether they acknowledge it or not, to launch the iPhone 5.

When all is said and done, DigiTimes says that 5 to 6 million units will be produced in September and more than 22 million in the fourth quarter.

Two to tango?

Given that Apple sold 20-plus million iPhones in the June quarter, traditionally the company’s weakest period for smartphones, will 28 million be enough for the holiday quarter?

I’m thinking the iPhone 4, or a cost down variant, will be available to pick up the considerable slack…

What’s your take?

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