Suppliers: Apple Wants Initial 3M CDMA iPhones in December



More signs appear every day that Apple is prepping a CDMA version of its popular iPhone for early 2011. The Cupertino, Calif. company reportedly has told suppliers it wants the first 3 million CDMA-only handsets ready for December 2010. The addition of a CDMA version alongside the current GSM-only iPhone should push fourth-quarter iPhone production to between 21 million and 22 million Apple handsets, one analyst told investors.

Citing overseas suppliers, Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jeffrey Fidarco said shipments of GSM-only iPhones will be betweem 18.2 million and 18.4 million for the September quarter, a figure he described as “well above investor expectations.” Additionally, the analyst forecasts Apple will sell 11.6 million iPhones for the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2010, a 39 percent jump from the 8.4 million Apple sold in the third quarter. The recent launch of iPhone sales in China, along with Apple’s goal to launch the iPhone 4 in 88 countries by the end of September will aid results in in the fourth-quarter, the analyst told investors.

Wednesday we reported AT&T is not worried about a CDMA iPhone in the U.S. (likely offered by Verizon) hurting its subscriber numbers. CEO Randall Stephenson told an analysts’ conference he did not believe a large percentage of current iPhone subscribers will switch carriers when AT&T’s exclusivity ends.

In other news, Fidarco predicts Apple will sell 7 million iPads for the current quarter, a 56 percent jump over the previous three-month financial period. The analyst foresees 4.75 million of the tablet devices will ship during the current quarter, hitting 13.4 million units for the entire 2010 calendar year.

The analyst also reported Apple is still having trouble keeping up with demand for the white iPhone 4 and expects only a “modest” beginning for the recently-revised Apple TV – moving from selling a few hundred thousands units to around one million by December. Despite the unit’s changes, such as a lower price and Netflix involvement, “expectations remain low, in our view,” he said.



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