News that Apple has asked its iPhone 5 ODM partner, Pegatron, to produce up to 15 million smartphones reached us yesterday as the September launch window approaches.
To put things in perspective, spread over a quarter (three months), that represents a monumental logistical challenge for any technological company, whatever their size.
Producing around 166,000 iPhone 5 units a day or roughly two every second - without any break - demands a level of precision and reliability that only few ODMs worldwide have been able to master.
Given the level of expectation that comes with every iPhone launch, it is possible that Apple deliberately postponed the launch of the iPhone 5 to build enough stock and avoid the scenario that affected the iPad 2 launch and left many looking for alternatives after failing to get an iDevice.
After all, better to have plenty of smartphones at launch for everyone than to risk alienating prospective customers by launching the iPhone 5 with "only" a couple of millions of handsets worldwide.
What's more, delaying the iPhone 5 by a quarter has allowed Apple to improve its iCloud services as well as its iOS 5. On the other hand, it will have given its rivals some room to breathe and prepare themselves better for the looming battle.