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Apple to begin production of new iPhone in August?

After meeting with Taiwanese suppliers, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty says Apple will start manufacturing the next iPhone in August with an eye toward a release late in the third quarter.

Apple will start making its next iPhone before the end of August and launch the device late in the third quarter, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.


Following meetings in Taiwan last week, presumably with Apple suppliers, Huberty said in an investor's note yesterday that she expects Apple to start ramping up production of the iPhone "aggressively" in mid- to late August and on into the fourth quarter.

Following the August push, the analyst believes, Apple will launch the iPhone in September and ship 2 million units in the fourth quarter, a shift from her previous estimate of 2 million in the third quarter. But Huberty notes that an early September launch would bump up the third quarter estimate and that Apple will still be able to ship 72 million iPhones for the entire year.

Along with the iPhone, Apple is also expected to ramp up production of the next iPad in August, Huberty said. For the year, she sees iPad shipments reaching 30 million, giving Apple a 60 percent slice of the tablet market.

Looking into the crystal ball for 2012, Huberty expects the debut of both a 4G LTE iPhone and a lower-priced 3G model, prompting Apple to forecast a large increase in iPhone shipments in 2012. Commenting on another recent rumor, the analyst believes Apple is getting into the TV business by developing its own Apple-branded Smart TV, a move that could add $19 billion to the company's annual revenue.

Finally, with supply constraints having eased following the immediate aftermath of the Japanese earthquake, Apple has been negotiating lower prices with some of its suppliers, according to Huberty, which she feels could help the company's margins a bit both in the second and third quarters.