Apple has reportedly increased upward orders for parts and components required for the production of the upcoming iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, according to sources from the supply chain in Taiwan (via DigiTimes).
Apple shipped 30 million iPhone 6s units a month on average in the second half of 2015, with the company originally predicting that shipments of the iPhone 7 this year would reach only 60 percent of that number over the same period. Supply chain sources are today reporting that Apple has boosted its original prediction by 10 percent.
A 10 percent hike in order volumes suggests Apple is increasingly upbeat about demand for the new devices among existing iPhone owners seeking to upgrade, despite relatively subdued interest in the iPhone 7 models compared to the pre-launch buzz of previous years.
Another potential factor in Apple’s upward revision is Samsung’s global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last week, following numerous complaints that the device caught on fire while charging. The incidents arguably couldn’t have come at a worse time for Apple’s biggest rival, which had pitched its Note 7 as a direct competitor to 5.5-inch iPhones.
Samsung has pulled its flagship device from 10 countries, including South Korea and the U.S. Target has stopped selling the phone, while Amazon and Best Buy have also said they are no longer selling the Note 7.
Samsung has told customers it will take at least 14 days to replace their phones, and with several mobile operators including T-Mobile offering full refunds to Note buyers over the same week the new iPhones are expected to be announced, Apple’s offering could prove an all-too-tempting alternative.
A lot depends on how fast Apple can fulfill pre-orders for its new handsets. While the company typically releases an iPhone about two weeks after introducing it, scheduling information from AT&T indicates that the iPhone 7 might not launch until later in the month, on September 23.
Previous information from notable smartphone leaker Even Blass suggested that pre-orders for the iPhone 7 will take place this Friday, September 9, two days after the debut event, which is in line with the schedule from AT&T.
However, Blass also predicted an iPhone launch for September 16, so if the AT&T information is accurate and does relate to release preparations, that previous prediction could be incorrect. September 16 and September 23 are both likely candidates for an iPhone release date.
Despite Apple’s revised orders, some suppliers reportedly remain worried that the uplift could be short-lived as order volumes for new parts and components may start drifting down in Q4 “on seasonality”, said the sources.
Be sure to check out our “What to Expect” post for a recap on other announcements expected at Wednesday’s event and stay tuned to MacRumors for other last-minute news and rumors.
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