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Apple expects to ship 1 to 2 million more iPhones in the first quarter of 2011 than it originally planned, including those ready for Verizon’s cellular network, sources from Taiwan-based component suppliers tell Digitimes.
The company’s global shipment goal for the first quarter is now around 20 to 21 million units, up from around 19 million previously. Around 14 to 15 million of those units will be of the current iPhone variety with support for AT&T’s network, while around 5 to 6 million will feature CDMA technology.
CDMA, a less common cell-phone technology than the GSM standard AT&T and most carriers worldwide use, runs Verizon and Sprint’s networks. It is also the dominant standard in South Korea.
It’s not entirely surprising that Apple would raises its shipment goals now that it has a better sense of what it can build and sell in the first quarter, but the potential amount of CDMA iPhones seems telling (assuming this information is correct, of course). In September, we reported that Apple was set to begin building its first 3 million CDMA iPhones this month.
Apple shipped 14.1 million iPhones worldwide in its last quarter, and it appears as if Apple intends to ship around 1 million more units intended for 3G networks like AT&T’s come the first quarter of 2011. At the same time, we also don’t see much sign of CDMA iPhones cannibalizing shipments of existing units. With 5 to 6 million CDMA iPhones expected, Apple may be able to significantly expand the iPhone’s presence without killing the sales of its existing units too much.
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