According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple has asked suppliers to manufacture anywhere from 70 million to 80 million of the upcoming iPhone. The production number includes two models. One will be the often discussed 4.7-inch model and there will indeed be a larger 5.5-inch model. This production estimate is through December 30th, but still incredibly ambitious, representing the largest production run in the companies history.
Apple is betting that customers will have a higher interest in upgrading due to the new hardware, notably the much larger screens. The last change in screen size was the iPhone 5, moving from a 3.5-inch display to the 4.0-inch display on the iPhone 5/5c/5s. The newer iPhones won’t be a small bump, with the larger model certainly reaching phablet status.
Sources have not disclosed any information on when these will be available, though most see September as the likely target. Recent reports have had the 4.7-inch hitting production sometime this week, with the 5.5-inch to follow in early August. It appears that as with previous reports, Apple is having some difficulty with the production of the larger displays. As noted by Ming-Chi Kuo, the larger displays using in-cell technology can suffer from a lack of touch sensitivity as reach the outer edges.
Apple has contracted Hon Hai (Foxconn) and Pegatron. Foxconn has plans to add up 100k new workers to help manage the increased production.