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Apple iPhone shipments to hit 95 million in 2011?

That's the claim from DigiTimes, citing sources. The publication says Apple will ship about 6 million iPhone 5 units in the third quarter and over 20 million in the fourth quarter.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Apple's production partners could ship as many as 95 million iPhones this year, a report from DigiTimes claims.

According to the Taiwan-based publication, those shipments are made up of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and the much-rumored iPhone 5. Citing anonymous sources, DigiTimes reported today that Apple has upped its iPhone orders for the second half of 2011 from 50 million to 56 million.

Out of that, 20 million devices in the third quarter and about 8 million in the fourth quarter will be iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 units. DigiTimes' sources say Apple will be shipping about 6 million iPhone 5 units during the third quarter, and then ramp up production of the iPhone 5 to 20 million in the fourth quarter.

Related stories:
iPhone 5 rumor roundup
iPhone 5: 20 most-wanted features
Apple iPhone 5, 'iCloud phone' event set for Sept. 7

DigiTimes' latest report doesn't appear to line up with earlier claims from the publication. Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that manufacturing company Pegatron would produce 10 million iPhone 5 units for shipment in September.

Even so, the report further intensifies rumors surrounding the iPhone 5. Over the last several months, a host of rumors have cropped up, claiming the device could be released in September or October. There is also debate over what the device might offer, ranging from an edge-to-edge screen to near-field communication.

Apple hasn't commented on the iPhone 5 so far and likely won't until it hosts an event to detail the upcoming smartphone. Last week, Japanese tech news site Kodawarisan reported that Apple would be holding an event on September 7 to unveil the iPhone 5. So far, Apple hasn't sent out invites to any event.

All the speculation surrounding the iPhone 5 has prompted some folks to chime in on other moves Apple should be making. Jean-Louis Gassee, general partner for Allegis Capital, wrote a blog post yesterday in which he first offered a fanciful vision of Apple acquiring a carrier like T-Mobile. But Gassee quickly went on to refute such a scenario, citing a host of issues, including regulatory problems and the negative reactions of other carriers toward Apple and any such deal.

Although Apple likely won't be buying a carrier anytime soon, Google today made the surprising announcement that it has agreed to acquire Motorola Mobility for a whopping $12.5 billion in cash. That deal is expected to close by year's end or early 2012.