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Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 05:35 am PT (08:35 am ET)

Orders for Apple's CDMA iPhone increased to 12M-15M in 2011 - report

Strong initial demand for the forthcoming CDMA iPhone 4 has caused Apple to increase its CDMA-compatible handset orders to as many as 15 million in 2011.

Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported Tuesday that total volume for the newly announced CDMA iPhone is expected to be between 12 million and 15 million this year. Taiwan-based notebook maker Pegatron Technology recently started shipping its initial orders, and had originally internally forecast to ship just 10 million CDMA handsets.

But citing "strong" demand, Pegatron's internal shipment projections for the CDMA iPhone, which will be compatible with the Verizon network in the U.S., are now between 12 million and 15 million units, according to an anonymous source out of the Far East.

Apple and Verizon announced earlier this month that a new CDMA variant of the iPhone 4, compatible with Verizon's network, will launch on Feb. 10 starting at $199. Other reports have suggested the new CDMA iPhone will make its way to other countries, including China, Japan and South Korea.

Tuesday's report was not limited exclusively to the iPhone 4, suggesting that Pegatron could also be producing a CDMA version of Apple's anticipated "iPhone 5" this summer. However, one report this week claimed that the next iPhone will actually be a dual-mode GSM-CDMA world phone, negating the need for a CDMA-specific handset.

Also Tuesday, DigiTimes filed a report noting that the medical leave of absence from Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is not expected to impact overseas component suppliers. Taiwan-based partners such as have not seen changes to orders, while sales are not expected to be impacted either. Specifically named were optical lens suppliers Largan PRecision, Genius Electronic Optical and Asia Optical.

"Since these makers have not yet received any updates about Apple changing its supply plans, while Apple is unlikely to change its existing projects significantly, the projects for the makers to jointly develop optical lenses with Apple should not see any delays," the report said.