Apple Expected To Build As Many As 17M iPhones This Year - InformationWeek

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Apple Expected To Build As Many As 17M iPhones This Year

An investment bank forecasted increased production volumes for Apple's iPhone, iPod, notebook, and desktop lines.

A peek at the Apple supply chain reveals that the consumer electronics maker is on track to build this year more than 15 million 3G iPhones, plus 2 million older models, an investment banker report released Thursday said.

On the iPod front, FBR Capital Markets revised its third quarter build volumes up by 15%, saying they are now set to grow 35% from the second quarter. The greater number of iPod Classics and Nanos built are expected to be partially offset by fewer Touch builds. "We hear a new, lower priced Nano may be coming, as well as refreshed versions of the Touch and Classic," FBR said.

FBR also increased its forecast for Mac notebooks and desktops by 10% to 20%, respectively. Volume builds in the third quarter are now set to grow 35% and 20%, respectively, from the previous quarter.

"These checks also suggest Apple continues to knock the cover off the ball, that its product cycle momentum is ramping, and that any consumer spending malaise in the U.S. or Europe has yet to impact Apple-related product demand," FBR said.

The boost in production of Apple products is expected to have "positive implications" for chip suppliers, such as Broadcom, Marvel Technology Group, Infineon Technologies, and Skyworks Solutions, FBR said.

The higher production levels reflect Apple's continued success in product innovation, sleek designs, attractive price points, and effective global deployment, FBR said. "These checks confirm Apple's product cycle momentum continues to gain steam."

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled version 2.0 of the iPhone this month at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The smartphone, which Apple plans to start selling July 11, is capable of connecting to carriers' faster 3G, or third generation, data networks. The original iPhone only supported carriers' slower digital networks.

In launching the faster iPhone, Jobs also dropped the price of the baseline model $200 to $199, which analysts believe will increase demand significantly. Apple has said it expects to sell 10 million iPhones this year.

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