15 Million ‘iPhone 5’ Order Signals Major Push in September?

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Predicting the next iPhone’s arrival is almost like reading tea leaves, or maybe it’s more like counting coffee grounds—say you had a mug that could hold 15 million.

That’s the number of fifth generation iPhones Taiwan-based computing and consumer electronics manufacturer Pegatron supposedly just received from Apple. DigiTimes reports the 15 million iPhone 5 tab comes with a September 2011 ship timetable, citing “sources from upstream component makers.” Vague as usual—where would we be without our daily deluge of Apple tittle-tattle?—and Pegatron has nothing to say about the claim either way.

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But at least it’s not unprecedented. We’d heard Apple’s supposedly fifth-gen iPhone would ship this September already back in April, and also that production on the new phone would begin in July. We’d also heard just a few weeks ago about the 15 million order number. So today’s “news” is pretty much par for the course.

Pegatron certainly has the wherewithal to fill an order of this magnitude. The company ramped up production capacity significantly in 2010 just to fill some 10 million CDMA-based iPhone 4 orders for Apple’s big Verizon Wireless launch. Unfortunately (for Apple and Pegatron) CDMA sales were relatively sluggish, resulting in just under four million CDMA iPhone 4s shipped, leaving Pegatron’s manufacturing capacity underutilized by as much as half, reports DigiTimes.

What else? More rumor repetition, like the part where the iPhone 5 won’t have “any major update” compared to the iPhone 4 (we’ve heard it’ll have an edge-to-edge screen, a notably better possibly 8 megapixel camera and use the iPad 2’s speedier A5 processor). More like an iPhone 4GS than an iPhone 5, in other words.

Even if that’s true, expect Apple to pitch it as revolutionary anyway, which is where we add “magical thinking” to the list of next-gen bullet point perennials.

MORE: Rumor: New MacBook Airs in July, iPhone 6 in 2012, 15m iPhone 5s in First Batch