iPhone 5 Not Very Different from iPhone 4, Say Component Makers

In addition to Foxconn - Apple’s longtime partner and manufacturer of the iPhone - another Taiwanese company is said to have struck a deal with Cupertino to build as many as 15 million iPhones.

Citing the usual upstream component makers, industry publication DigiTimes reports that Taiwan-based notebook maker Pegatron Technology is estimated to have been contracted by Apple to build 15 million units of the next-generation iPhone.

These sources appear to be unsure whether Pegatron will be assembling an iPhone 5, or an iPhone 4S, which makes the report a tad less credible.

The sources, nonetheless, said the iPhone 5 does not “seem” to be very different from the current model (the iPhone 4), but that the smartphone is already set for shipment in September.

Pegatron wants to also build iPads and MacBooks, but Apple has already landed orders with many of the manufacturer’s competitors, and therefore has been left out in the cold, the report adds.

Only under the consideration of separating risks may Pegatron have a chance to land a small volume of iPad orders in 2012, market watchers believe.

It is also being reported that Pegatron has significantly expanded its plants, human resources and equipment in 2010. in order to satisfy orders for some 10 million CDMA iPhone 4 units, as a result of its cooperation with Apple.

However, the CDMA version of Apple’s popular gadget sold far less than expected in the first quarter of 2011, which saw Pegatron ship less than four million units.

This caused the company's utilization rate to drop to 50% with its gross margin weakening to 1.8% in the quarter, reports DigiTimes.

Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone at a fall event. The Cupertino tech giant has already confirmed plans to launch iOS 5 and iCloud this autumn, both of which will leverage new hardware.

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