Apple steps up iPhone production
According to a media report, Apple is increasing production of its iPhone mobile handset. Citing sources in the know, the online edition of Business Week magazine reported today that the US company wants to build 40 to 45 million devices in the coming twelve months. Apple raised its target following a stronger than expected, July launch of the new UMTS-capable iPhone 3G. Currently, some 150,000 iPhones are built per day.
Regarding its projected volume, Apple so far has only stated that it wants to turn over at least 10 million devices in the current calendar year. Even with its total of a billion new phones Apple still only has a humble share of the worldwide mobile phone market. In order to achieve its ambitious plans, the company has expanded its distribution network, now offering the iPhone in chain stores – for instance, at Best Buy in the US and at Media-Saturn Holding stores in Germany. In the UK the sales expansion is modest; the iPhone is available from the original network supplier O2, mobile specialists the Carphone Warehouse and from the sixteen Apple Retail stores located in major population centres across the country.
Following the worldwide launch in July, supplies of the mobile device were tight – in Germany, the new iPhone was sold out in many stores. According to mobile service provider T-Mobile, which exclusively offers the phone in Germany with its own service contracts, the situation has normalised since the launch. For the UK launch only the O2 stores had them and these were limited to a few dozen phones each, but stock levels have now improved and even the, at first very hard to find white 16GB model, is available from the Carphone Warehouse.
Meanwhile, the iPhone has been making headlines due to its connection problems in UMTS networks. A software update, currently iPhone software is at version 2.0.2, is supposed to improve "communication in 3G networks", according to the company spokesperson. The connection problems were experienced mostly by US customers. T-Mobile also received customer complaints from the Netherlands while in Germany the iPhone 3G complaints are at normal levels for UMTS devices. UK users have also apparently experienced problems with dropped calls on the O2 network.