More IPhone 5s, More Carriers

More IPhone 5s, More Carriers

Apple is ramping up iPhone 5 production to push out more devices than usual, an indication it may release the device on all four major U.S. carriers.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company asked its main suppliers to increase production of its next-generation handset, according to DigiTimes. Foxconn is now putting together 150,000 units a day.

Apple is expected to ship up to 6 million iPhone 5 devices this month alone, and more than 20 million worldwide by the end of the fourth quarter.

The report supports analyst’s suspicions that Apple will release the device in October, and falls in line with a Wall Street Journal report claiming 25 million iPhone shipments by year’s end.

Apple’s next-generation handset has steadily built anticipation after its delay in June. The company’s plan to launch iOS 5 in the fall spurred speculation the iPhone 5 will debut alongside the new platform, and manufacturers ramping up production dovetails with that scheduling.

Apple may also order more iPhones than usual for this launch because the company expects increased demand. The past four iPhones have launched only on AT&T, and the company has struggled to meet demand. Verizon now offers the iPhone 4 as well, but the carrier did not start offering the device until months after its initial release.

While no one yet knows which carriers will sell the iPhone 5, AT&T and Verizon is expected to offer the device, and analysts believe Sprint and T-Mobile may carry the handset at launch as well.

If all four major U.S. carriers are set to carry the iPhone 5, the device will have over 100 million more potential buyers than its predecessors.

Even with Apple set to ship more than 20 million iPhone 5 handsets in the next few months, the addition of three more carriers may make it impossible for the company to meet consumer demand for its next handset for quite some time.

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