Apple Tells Suppliers to Ready 70-80 Million 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone 6 Units: WSJ

The Wall Street Journal has chimed in with a report on the eve of Apple’s quarterly earnings regarding the next iPhone. According to sources, Apple has asked its suppliers to ready 70-80 million iPhone 6 units to be ready by December, as it forecasts high demand for its upcoming smartphones, said to come in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes:

The Cupertino, Calif., company is asking suppliers to manufacture between 70 million and 80 million units combined of two large-screen iPhones with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays by Dec. 30, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sources say the forecast this year is higher than last year’s order of 50-60 million units of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. As for the newer models, they are said to come in a metal design similar to the iPhone 5S in a variety of colours.

People familiar with the matter also say Apple might be struggling with 5.5-inch screen size production, due to the manufacturing process related to in-cell technology (touch sensors are built into the LCD which negates a separate touch screen layer), which allows displays to be thinner and lighter.

Also, if the larger 5.5-inch model were to sport sapphire glass, it could also lead to further production complications. Earlier this month KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also stated the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could possibly be delayed to November or even early 2015.

With the possible low yield rate for these displays, sources say Apple has requested to suppliers to make up to 120 million iPhones by the end of the year, similar to last year’s request of a combined 90 million iPhones to build a buffer in its supply chain, ahead of the Lunar New Year in early 2015 when workers take time off to visit families back home.

The report reiterates Foxconn is hiring workers to prepare for iPhone 6 production, at the rate of hundreds per day. The latter, along with Pegatron are said to start making the 4.7-inch model next month, while later in September the 5.5-inch model will be produced by Foxconn.

Again, this report doesn’t necessarily provide new information aside from specific estimates of production numbers. The timing of the piece was published after the end of the trading day so you can expect this news to possibly excite investors tomorrow. The bottom line: new iPhone 6 models are coming, so start deciding whether you want a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch model.

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  • Jay Aulik

    do you think if they don’t release 5.5 inch model at the same time as the 4.7 inch, they’ll hint a larger iphone launch, because I wouldn’t want to buy the 4.7 thinking its the only one and then they release a 5.5 a month later!

  • Most likely both would be announced, but the date for the second model might be ‘later this year’.