Apple Ups Q1 iPhone Target to 21M Units: Report

Apple has bumped up its own internal forecasts for iPhone shipments in the first quarter of 2011 from 19 million units to more than 21 million units, according to a report from Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes.

According to sources close to Asia-based manufacturers building components for the wildly popular smartphone, the revised estimates predict shipment of some 5 million to 6 million CDMA units that would seem to indicate Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is close to officially introducing a Verizon-ready version of the iPhone.

If the component manufacturers cited in the DigiTimes article are to be believed, Apple will also ship between 14 million and 15 million of its current WCDMA-enabled iPhones in the quarter. Apple was expecting to ship between 15 million and 16 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2010 as it and makers of the Android-powered smartphones continue to gobble up market share mostly at the expense of Nokia and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM).

Several Apple-centric websites were quick to react to the report and rumors.

"Verizon may be getting a late Christmas present," the Cult of Mac website reported in a Monday blog posting, adding that it appears manufacturing partners Foxconn and Pegatron Technology will share the production responsibilities for the CDMA model.

A post to the Apple Insider blog reported that China Telecom is in discussions with Apple to be the first provider of CDMA-based iPhones in the world's most populous nation, which is "in the early stages" of iPhone adoption.

If Apple managed to ship the 15.5 million to 16 million iPhone units it originally projected in the fourth quarter, it will have shipped more than 47 million total units in 2010.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


iPhone, smartphones, China, Apple, Verizon