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Report: Apple to up iPhone shipments in 2011, readying CDMA version

Apple has reportedly ordered 20 to 21 million iPhones to be shipped during the first quarter of 2011, according to a DigiTimes report. That’s an increase from the 19 million iPhones that Apple had originally requested from its Taiwan-based manufacturers.

Apple’s order doesn’t necessarily translate into sales, but it’s a good indicator that the company expects demand for the iPhone to remain high moving into the new year. Back in October, Apple reported that it shipped 14.1 million iPhones during the third quarter of 2010 and it’s estimated that worldwide iPhone shipments for the fourth quarter of 2010 will reach 15.5 million — making for a grand total of some 47 million shipped iPhones in 2010.

According to sources cited in DigiTimes, part of Apple’s first quarter order includes 15 to 16 million WCDMA iPhones, an increase from the 13 million Apple had originally ordered. The report also states that Apple is intending to launch a CDMA-based iPhone in North America and Asia with a goal to ship between 5 and 6 million of the devices during the first three months of 2011. That lends credence to speculation that Apple is planning to make the iPhone available through Verizon in early 2011, ending AT&T’s run as the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in the U.S.

The report states that the WCDMA iPhone will be manufactured soley by Foxconn and the CDMA version will be a joint-venture between Foxxconn and Pegatron Technology.

No word as to whether any of the iPhones on order will include the elusive white iPhone 4 that’s now expected to be available by Spring of 2011.

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