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15 Million iPhones Reportedly in the Works

An online report says Apple placed an order with a Taiwan company, to build 15 million units of the next iPhone

Apple's iPhone 5 aka the iPhone 4S aka the next iPhone is set to start shipping in September with 15 million handsets in the pipeline, according to online rumors. Steve Jobs and company reportedly placed an order with Taiwan-based Pegatron to build 15 million units of the next iPhone in time for a fall launch. Pegatron reportedly builds Apple's Verizon-friendly CDMA iPhone 4 that launched in January. Taiwan-based Foxconn produces most of Apple's iOS-based products. The next iPhone will not be a major improvement over the iPhone 4, according to DigiTimes.

Most Apple watchers have long expected the company to debut a new iPhone in the fall when it releases iOS 5 for iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 users. The next iPhone is widely expected to feature Apple's A5 dual-core processor, which debuted in the iPad 2. Apple did something similar when it premiered its A4 processor in the original iPad in January 2010 and then put the same processor in the iPhone 4 about six months later.

It's unclear what else the next iPhone might have, but guesses have included an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, an aluminum back, a teardrop form factor, and a curved glass screen.

Apple opted not to introduce a new iPhone in June as it has since 2007. However, the company did introduce the next version of iOS, due out this fall. Apple's iOS 5 will include a variety of improvements including a new cloud-based sync and storage service called iCloud, Wi-Fi sync with iTunes, a new notifications system, improvements to Game Center, quick access to the camera app from the lock screen, a new background download feature for news apps, and a to do list app called Reminders.

Is 15 million enough?

Most critics consider DigiTimes' record on Apple rumors spotty, but the Taiwan-based organization's report is similar to other rumors that have come out in recent months. If DigiTimes' number is correct and Apple is producing 15 million new iPhones for September, one question remains: Will Apple have enough handsets to meet demand?

Connect with Ian Paul ( @ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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