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9/8/2011
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Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iPhone 5 Production Ramps Up At Foxconn

Apple supplier cranks out 150,000 smartphones a day ahead of its release later this year. Estimates place fourth quarter sales near 22 million.

Apple might be expecting to sell a heck of a lot of iPhones in the remaining months of 2011. According to supply chain sources cited by DigiTimes, Apple's long-time partner Foxconn is churning out as many as 150,000 iPhone 5s per day, at a pace of 5 to 6 million per month. That puts the total for the rest of the year in the ballpark of 22 million, which is in line with analyst estimates on what Apple might be able to do.

At this point, however, Apple hasn't even admitted that such a device exists and no details are known with certainty.

Many of the reports that have flooded the interwebs this year indicate that the Apple iPhone 5 will have the same dual-core A5 processor found in the iPad 2, it will have an 8-megapixel camera, it will be thinner, but wider and longer, and it will be sold by AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and maybe even Sprint.

According to a leaked internal memo, published by SprintFeed last week, the higher-ups at Sprint want the company's retail store employees to downplay reports that the Now Network may sell the Apple iPhone come October.

The memo, which is addressed to All Dealers reads: "Action Required--Do Not Speculate about Sprint Getting the iPhone. If you are asked by a customer or by friends and family members, you need to avoid making any comments about the iPhone and simply state 'no comment.'"

A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint will carry both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4 for the first time. Sprint won't be alone, however. The iPhone 5 will launch on AT&T and Verizon Wireless's networks the same time it goes on sale from Sprint in mid-October.

Sprint suggests that employees may acknowledge the Wall Street Journal report, but can't offer any information or comment about it, and should refer inquisitive customers to Sprint's newsroom.

In other iPhone news, the DigiTimes has suggested that the iPhone 5 won't have a four-inch display as originally thought. Earlier this year, supply-side channel checks appeared to confirm that Apple was ordering tons of four-inch touch panels. Now, DigiTimes says the dimensions of the iPhone's display are likely to fall between 3.5 and 3.7 inches.

"Despite rumors about iPhone 5 featuring a 4.2-inch panel circulating within the IT market for a while, sources from upstream panel suppliers have recently revealed that the iPhone 5's panel size will still be less than 4-inch. In addition, iPhone 5's back design will be changed to a metal chassis instead of reinforced-glass," it reported.

The iPhone's display has measured 3.5 inches across the diagonal from day one. When it was first launched in 2007, that was a monstrously large display. Now, it falls close to the bottom of the touch-phone display size. Most of today's super phones pack 4.3-inch displays, and Samsung has even upped the game to 4.5 inches for some of its devices. Even the phones that shy away from the massive 4.5-inch measurement are shipping with 3.8-inch to 4.0-inch displays. Only the lowest-end smartphones come with 3.2-inch to 3.5-inch displays.

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