According to Appleinsider, analysts for Barclay’s Capital are reporting Monday that their contacts in the Far East tell them that Apple (AAPL) has doubled its iPhone production for the current quarter, suggesting the company has baked high expectations into the launch of new models that will reportedly arrive in June.
…sources indicate Apple is readying a new iPhone that will ship in June with an upgraded camera that could deliver big improvements to the iPhone experiences, including both still and video capabilities “with possibly another camera on the front for video chat.”
Last week, Lazard Capital Markets semiconductors analyst Daniel Amir made similar claims, saying production was due to jump from around 3.5 – 4.0 million units during the March quarter to as many as 8 million units during the June to coincide with the introduction of two new models.
Ben Reitzes (Barclay’s Capital analyst)…raised his pro forma estimates for the Cupertino-based significantly given his view that the company can deliver a robust new product cycle for iPhones in ’09 supporting about $10 per share in annualized free cash flow. He also bumped his price target on Apple shares to $143 from $113 while maintaining an overweight rating on the stock. [via Appleinsider]
It is possible that the doubling of manufacturing orders may coincide with a potential deal between Apple and one of the Chinese carriers. Last week, as reported by MacWorld UK, China Unicom representatives met stateside with Apple executives in what was described in media reports as a “breakthrough” session geared towards offering the iPhone 3G on the Chinese carrier’s network. If that’s the case, then gaining access to such a large market would probably require twice as many units to satisfy demand.