Everyone’s favorite Asian supply chain gossip rag is at it again. And believe me, I use the term “gossip rag” here with the utmost affection. DigiTimes is reporting that Taiwanese-based component makers are preparing materials for iPhone 5 and iPad 3 production, with both models set to launch this September and ship in October. iPhone 5 will feature a Sony-sourced 8 megapixel CMOS camera sensor, while iPad 3 will get a 250 dpi display fronting an even thinner and lighter design, according to DigiTimes’ “industry sources.”
The usual Apple supply chain partners, including Foxconn (assmebly), Wintek (touch panel modules) and Dynapack and Simplo (batteries) were mentioned as readying themselves for low-volume production of the new devices beginning in August, with full ramp-up coming in the September/October timeframe. DigiTimes predicts 6-7 million iPhone 5’s to be supplied in the third quarter of this year, with continued iPhone 4 shipments to bring total iPhone volume to around 25 million units for each of Q3 and Q4 2011.
Sources also told DigiTimes to expect some 15 million “iPad series” units (including iPad 2 and a new iPad 3) to ship during the third quarter of this year. That would bring total iPad line supply up to, or even over, 40 million for the year. It’s worth noting that these Q3 volume estimates for both iPhone and iPad are well above those of most financial and industry analysts.
Also of note is DigiTimes’ certain tone in reporting that Apple will only be introducing one new iPhone model this Fall. That runs counter to recent rumors that the Cupertino, CA-based company was perhaps gearing up to launch a new low-end iPhone for the pre-paid market alongside of a flagship iPhone 5. Apple, of course, currently has the iPhone 3GS slotted into its entry-level smartphone position, so it’s not beyond possibility that they could move 3GS down further to “free on contract” status, or even use it to break into the pre-paid market, while retaining iPhone 4 as an entry-level device and a new iPhone 5 as the flagship.
And more note … I’ve been saying all along we’ll get an iPad 3 this year. Sean’s been saying all along I’m as wrong as mayonnaise on ice cream. Suffice it to say we’ve got a little bet running on the matter, and no matter who loses you our loyal readers (and viewers, especially) will wind up the real winners. You’ll find out what I mean as soon as iPad 3 is unveiled or the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2012. Trust me, it’ll be fun.