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Apple reduces iPhone output, will sell more, analyst claims

Enough to grab world's number three smartphone seller spot?

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Apple will make 14-15m iPhones during Q3 and Q4, down from 18m, it has been claimed.

The report of the 3-4m cut comes from US investment bank Pacific Crest Securities and is contained in a note sent out to clients last week and given wider currency through an EETimes report.

PCS reckons Apple will sell 11m iPhones during H2 2008, up from its previous forecast of 8m. Accounting for the apparent discrepancy - increased sales yet reduced production - PCS noted that cutting back on manufacturing costs gives Apple "sustainable pricing power", implying the Mac maker could reduce the handset's price over the period.

Assuming a 50:50 split between the second half of the year's two quarters, that's 4.5m units a quarter, which could put Apple well ahead of smartphone rivals like HTC and Palm, and second only to Research in Motion.

According to market watcher Gartner, RIM shipped just under 5.59m BlackBerries around the globe in Q2 - the most recent quarter we have data for - though even that total was well below Nokia's 15.30m.

HTC, Sharp and Fujitsu shipped 1.33m, 1.33m and 1.07m, respectively. Apple didn't trouble the scorer, coming within the 'others' category, but that was just before the high-profile launch of the iPhone 3G, which has now debuted in many more nations than its predecessor did.

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