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Thursday, June 26, 2008, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Apple ups 2008 iPhone 3G build orders to 15 million - report

Checks within Apple's supply chain reveal the iPhone maker to have hiked its iPhone 3G build orders through the end of the year to more than 15 million, according to one Wall Street analyst.

In a report issued to clients Thursday, FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger said the Cupertino-based company revised both third and fourth calendar quarter iPhone build numbers "significantly higher" to more than 15 million units, in addition to placing orders for 2 million more 2G iPhones.

"With about seven million incremental units being built in [the third quarter] versus [the second quarter], this data clearly has positive implications for iPhone chip suppliers," he said. '[Second quarter] build volumes fell by 25 percent versus prior checks in mid-May (now up only 80 percent quarter-over-quater) as Apple pushes production out a bit into [the third quarter].

The analyst said Broadcom and Marvell stand to be amongst the largest beneficiaries of the increased iPhone build forecast, as they're both believed to be supplying key components for the new iPhone 3G.

Berger said a similar round of checks turned up evidence of an approximate 15 percent positive revision to forward looking iPod build orders, which now suggests sequential growth of 35 percent for the company's digital media player business.

"Greater Classic and Nano builds are partially offset by fewer Touch builds," he told clients. "[Second quarter] build volumes remain largely unchanged, growing 35 percent quarter-over-quarter."

Following the upward trend in the handheld department, Mac orders have also reportedly shot up. Compared to the analyst's previous checks, orders by Apple to its Taiwanese manufacturing facilities suggest anywhere from a 10 to 20 percent increase in Mac system builds.

"These checks also suggest Apple continues to knock the cover off the ball, that its product cycle momentum is ramping, and that any consumer spending malaise in the U.S. or Europe has yet to impact Apple-related product demand," he said.