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Apple will enjoy a record-breaking quarter for iPhone sales in the run up to Christmas, an industry sage predicts, despite reports that manufacturing partners are struggling to meet the tech giant’s production targets.

In a note to investors, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu forecasts that total iPhone sales will soar to 46.5 million in the three months leading up to the festive period. That compares to a figure of 26.9 million for the preceding quarter.

Wu’s forecast will come as a tonic to shareholders after Foxconn’s Peter Gou this week told delegates at a business expo that challenges presented by the iPhone 5’s design meant that the company’s factories are struggling to keep up with demand.

Gou’s comments came after Apple’s share price recently dipped after revealing worse-than-expected iPad 3 sales.

However, according to Wu Apple’s production capacity is much improved since the iPhone 5 landed back in September, suggesting that perhaps other manufacturing partners, such as Pegatron of Taiwan, could be picking up the slack.

Gou did not specify what particular problems are affecting production of the iPhone 5, but is thought that these relate to the handset’s alleged tendency to pick up scratches.

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