Apple has placed orders with its manufacturing partners for as many as 26 million iPhone 5 handsets in the second half of 2011 as it prepares for a massive launch this fall. In addition to Apple’s iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, this could bring the vendor’s second-half iPhone shipments up to 56 million units, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Tack that massive figure onto the 18.65 million iPhones Apple shipped in the fiscal second quarter and the 20.34 million units shipped in the fiscal third quarter, and Apple could potentially ship just under 100 million iPhone handsets this year. Apple is expected to unveil at least one new iPhone model in the coming weeks, which will then go on sale in late September or early October.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.