The company has demanded 70-80m iPhones covering the expected 4.7in and 5.5in models by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The combined order surpasses last year’s 50-60m iPhone 5S and 5C numbers, which was the largest new iPhone launch at the time.
'Demand percentage turned out to be different than we thought'
Apple broke records, selling 9m iPhones in the first weekend, but the iPhone 5S outsold the cheaper iPhone 5C by two to one. The iPhone 5C failed to live up to expectations, causing Apple’s suppliers to cut production and Apple to introduce a cheaper 8GB iPhone 5C to try to ignite sales.
Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, said that the company’s strategy of both phones at the same time - the first in the iPhone’s history - did not go to plan.
“I think last quarter we did a tremendous job, particularly given the mix was something very different than we thought,” he said in an earnings call in January. “It was the first time we’d ever run that particular play before, and demand percentage turned out to be different than we thought.”
Rumours around production issues for the larger iPhones, the first to move past 4in screens, have put doubt on the efficacy of a large launch for the iPhone 6.
Some have pointed to Apple’s expected use of new sapphire crystal screens as the cause of production issues, which have been difficult to produce in large areas like those required by 4.7in and 5.5in smartphone screens.
• An expert who was consulted by Apple 18 months ago says that a harder sapphire crystal iPhone screen is possible, and that Apple’s patents for glass-sapphire blends could result in a new hybrid screen more resistant to scratching
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