Despite worries that iPhone 5 production is struggling due to design and component issues, new reports suggest that Apple's latest smartphone's capacity is improving, and an analyst has predicted that Apple will sell 46.5 million phones in the December quarter.

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told investors in a note on Thursday that his checks with Apple's supply chain have shown that Apple has improved its iPhone 5 production capacity since its launch in September.

Wu predicts that, with the iPhone 5 supply problems on the mend, Apple will sell 46.5 million total iPhones in the December quarter. That's 19.6 million more iPhones than Apple sold in the September quarter.

Apple manufacturer Foxconn's CEO Terry Gou said this week that the company was finding it difficult to meet Apple's requests to supply more iPhones, because of design and production issues.

Apple sold more than five million iPhone 5s within the first three days of its launch in September. The overwhelming demand for the device is also likely to be contributing to Foxconn's struggles.

In October, it was reported that Apple could be looking to extend its manufacturing capabilities for the iPhone 5 by signing up another Foxconn factory.

See also:

Foxconn: iPhone shortage due to complicated design that's difficult to master
Foxconn builds products for many vendors, but its mud sticks to Apple
Apple is helping Foxconn pay for wage increases, says analyst
Sharp can't make iPhone 5 screen fast enough, caused supply issues
Samsung Galaxy S3 outsells iPhone 5; as long as Apple's phone isn't available