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Apple iPhone Buzz Prompts New Production Reports

Apple is reported to have turned to longtime manufacturer Quanta Computer to ramp up production.

With thousands of Apple aficionados signing up for the iPhone sight unseen and thousands more on waiting lists, the firm is reported to have turned to longtime Apple manufacturer Quanta Computer to ramp up production.

Responding to reports that it had received an order to produce 5 million iPhones with delivery scheduled to begin in September, Quanta issued a cryptic statement that neither confirmed not denied the reports.

"It is important for the Company to gain new business to sustain growth and development," the company said, according to media reports adding that "the Company will not comment on specific customer, order or any types of confidential information."

Taiwan's Quanta is the world's largest producer of laptop computers and has produced various products for Apple in the past.

Earlier this week, WR Hambrecht analyst Matthew Kather released the results of a survey of AT&T Cingular stores the investment banking firm queried.

"Most stores expect the phone on 6/15 or 6/22, and most expect to only have a few (highest number was 40 at one store) on hand initially." Kather's report states, "Overall pent-up retail demand at Cingular stores appears very strong, with about 15-20% of the stores we contacted keeping a waiting list for customers interested to purchase it."

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Wednesday that he expects to begin selling the iPhone before the end of June. The widespread expectation by analysts is that the launch will coincide with Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (WWCD) in San Francisco. Jobs is scheduled to deliver his keynote on Monday, June 11.

At the January Macworld keynote, Apple said the iPhone will initially be sold in the U.S. by Cingular Wireless (now AT&T). The handset is expected to include a touch screen and includes a music and video player. The iPhone is expected to come in two versions with a starting cost of $500 without the accompanying phone contract.

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