Production of Apple's next iPhone reportedly is moving forward.

Citing Taiwan-based supply chain makers, Digitimes reported some time back that Apple had lowered the iPhone 5 orders from 7 million units to 5.5 times to 6 million units. But as of now, the fourth quarter production has increased.

Foxconn Electronics is reportedly producing up to 150,000 iPhone 5 handsets per day in a surprising move as supply chain sources indicate that iPhone 5 shipments are expected to reach up to 6 million by the end of the month and will reach 22 million units by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, iPhone 4 orders in the U.S now take one to three business days to ship, indicating that Apple is expecting a slowdown in iPhone 4 production as the next generation comes in. That means, as reported Wall Street Journal earlier, the data is increasingly pointing to two releases of the iPhone 5, meaning one phone would come in fourth quarter and one shortly after. The first one is set to come within a few months, analysts predict.

However, there is one glaring missing feature -- 4G high-speed network access. 4G capability should come early next year as Apple would likely not incorporate 4G LTE due to battery life issues and spotty network coverage.

There are also reports suggesting Pegatron Technology will produce 15 percent of the orders from Apple. But Pegatron is not expected to ship the product until next year, giving an indication of an iPhone 5 making it up with 4G support.

According to CultofMac, Apple will issue press invitations to the iPhone 5 launch Sept. 14 and it will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sept. 21. Pre-orders will be taken Sept. 28, and the phone will be released on October. This prediction falls in line with reports of Best Buy passing on the message to its employees that the iPhone 5 could be released in the first week of October.

Various case designs have appeared in different parts of the world for next-generation iPhones with design suited for a 4-inch screen. But the latest iOS 5 beta 7, released for developers, revealed a picture of an iPhone, possibly one of the models expected to feature 3.7-inch screen, which coincides with claim made by Bloomberg earlier of an Apple next-generation smartphone closely resembling the iPhone 4.

New cases available from Shenzhen L&Y Technology Co Ltd in China suggest that Apple is planning a redesign for its anticipated fifth generation iPhone. The case design reveals that mute switch appears to be right side of the device, unlike in previous models that featured it on the left side.

Moreover, according MacPost, the LCD component labeled as N94 EVT 1 carries a manufacturing date of March 3, 2011 which is different from EVT2 model showing a manufacture date of June 7, 2011. Both the components show design similar to the current iPhone 4, conflicting with many claims that the next generation iPhone will feature design change.

Speculations are rife that Apple will update the iPhone 4 model to iPhone 4S, which is expected serve as entry level model along with iPhone 5. Meanwhile, according to reports, iPhone 5 will be offered on Sprint in addition to Verizon and AT&T, and preorders may begin this month. With iOS 5 almost reaching the end of beta stages, iPhone 5 official announcements or event announcement seem very likely in near future.
Sprint is said to be preparing to sell the iPhone 5 by setting up new cellular equipment in Apple stores, but some analysts believe the deal may help Sprint get more people in the door and subsequently push more units. However, the cost of subsidizing the phone to prices acceptable to consumers may hurt the carrier. Analysts said that while it would cost Sprint to add the iPhone 5, there would be gains to offset the costs in the long term. Estimates hover in the millions of units that the company could look to move in the fourth quarter, if the deal materializes.

Apple outsold and outearned smartphone rivals in the second quarter this year, using phones it introduced at least a year ago, but its upcoming iPhone 5 may push the company out of reach. Apple's old iPhone 4, already 12 months old, is surprisingly still selling strongly at U.S. carriers. At AT&T, the iPhone is the most recommended device, while the Samsung Infuse and the HTC Inspire 4G top the list of Android models pushed. But iPhone sales outstripped Android and other non-iOS device sales by two to one. With Apple already being No. 1, iPhone 5 will make Apple hard to catch.

With the Samsung Galaxy S2 topping iPhone 4 sales in some other parts of the world and with the Motorola Droid Bionic 4G LTE threat looming, it remains to be seen how iPhone 5 will fare this quarter. The Motorola Droid Bionic, now available, has received rave reviews and is said to be most powerful smartphone yet. Although the pricing seem be high initially, there are possible changes of the price being reduced during the arrival of next generation iPhone for a competitive edge.