WSJ: Apple gearing up for record production of 70 to 80 million iPhone 6 units

iphone 6 models

Apple is gearing up for its largest initial production run of iPhones ever, according to a new report this afternoon from The Wall Street Journal. The Cupertino company is betting big on its larger-screened handsets, which it believes will garner record sales.

Citing sources “familiar with the matter,” the outlet says that Apple has asked suppliers to manufacture somewhere between 70 million and 80 million units combined of two larger display iPhones, one 4.7-inch model and one 5.5-inch, by the end of December…

Here’s more from the Journal’s Lorraine Luk:

Apple’s forecast for what is commonly called the iPhone 6 is significantly larger than the initial order last year of between 50 million and 60 million versions of the iPhone 5S and 5C—which had a display measuring 4-inches diagonally, these people said. Both of the coming models are expected to feature metal cases similar to the iPhone 5S and likely come in multiple colors, these people said.

The report jibes with previous supply chain chatter, which said that two of Apple’s suppliers, Foxconn and Pegatron, were going on major hiring sprees to ensure they were properly staffed for large iPhone 6 orders. Foxconn alone is said to be hiring 100K employees.

Reasons for the huge uptick in iPhone demand include anticipation for a significant redesign, new features expected in iOS 8, and of course the larger displays. In the past, if a customer wanted a phone with a screen larger than 4-inches, they’d have to look outside Apple.

Last week, Reuters reported that mass production of the 4.7-inch iPhone would begin this month, with the larger 5.5-inch ramping up in the second week of August. The former is expected to be in much higher supply, when the iPhone 6 goes on sale in late September.