Apple has reportedly placed an order for 15 million iPhone 5 units, slated to start shipping in September, according to DigiTimes.
Citing sources from upstream component makers, DigiTimes said that Taiwan-based notebook maker Pegatron Technology received the new orders from Apple.
Pegatron was responsible for shipping Verizon's CDMA version of the iPhone 4, but it reportedly had to cut back on its production due to sluggish demand for the phone. The company had ramped up its facilities and plants to handle orders for 10 million CDMA iPhone 4 units, but it shipped less than 4 million, taking a bite out of its bottom line, according to DigiTimes.
To ramp up production of the iPhone 5, component makers have already been sending parts to Pegatron's plants in Shanghai, while Pegatron has been hiring more personnel, added the sources.
The iPhone 5, also referred to as the iPhone 4S by DigiTimes, does not seem to include any major updates from the current iPhone 4, according to the sources.
Rumors have been flying lately as to when the next iPhone would be released and whether it would be a major upgrade from the current version. Some sources, including Morgan Stanley and Bloomberg, have also cited September as the likely launch date for the next model iPhone.
But there's been disagreement over whether the new iPhone would present a major revamp. Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek believes it will be a minor update over the iPhone 4, also referring to it as an iPhone 4S. J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz is predicting an an iPhone "4 plus," a unit with some improvements but no major changes.
However, Bloomberg and other sources still expect the next iPhone to sport several significant changes.