“Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee checked with members of Apple’s overseas supply chain, and was told that yields on the iPhone 5 are still improving,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider. “The progress comes as estimated shipping times from Apple’s online store have improved to between two and four days, while the handset is set to launch in more than 50 countries this month.”

“Availability of the iPhone 5 is improving despite what Wu referred to as ‘robust demand’ for the device,” Hughes reports. “He expects Apple will sell 47.3 million units in the December quarter, a forecast slightly greater than market consensus of between 45 million and 46 million iPhones sold during the holiday quarter.”

Hughes reports, “Word of improved production of the iPhone 5 also prompted Wu to increase his gross margin forecast for Apple’s current quarter. He now believes Apple will achieve margins of 38.5 percent during the three-month frame, up from a previous prediction of 38 percent.”

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