Rumor Claims 21M iPhones on Order for Q1

Apple has apparently bumped up its first quarter 2011 iPhone 4 shipment goal from 19 million units up to 20 or 21 million units and includes a CDMA-based iPhone model, too. Word of the production increase comes out of Taiwan from unnamed sources in component supply chain, according to DigiTimes.

The sources claim between 14 and 15 million units using the same GSM technology found in all iPhones are on order, up from 13 million units. Between 5 and 6 million CDMA-based iPhones are apparently on order, too, for shipment to North America and the Asia Pacific region.

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So far, Apple hasn’t shipped a CDMA-based iPhone, nor has the company confirmed that models using the technology are in the works. CDMA is a mobile phone communication technology that isn’t compatible with the GSM technology used by Apple’s iPhone partners, including AT&T in the United States.

Assuming Apple is planning on releasing a CDMA-compatible iPhone, that could mean AT&T’s exclusive iPhone deal is coming to an end and Verizon will be able to offer the combination iPod and smartphone soon. Verizon has been blocked from carrying the iPhone because its CDMA network isn’t compatible with the iPhone’s cell radios.

Since Apple doesn’t comment on rumors, and the sources DigiTimes cites are anonymous, word that iPhone production orders are up, and that a CDMA iPhone is on the way, should be taken with an appropriately sized grain of salt.