This fall, Apple will release two new iPhone models, one with a 4.7-inch screen and another with a larger, 5.5-inch screen. This is according to widespread reporting from major news sources and leaks from Apple's Asian supply chain.
The latest report comes from The Wall Street Journal, which last night reported that Apple is preparing for its largest iPhone launch ever with orders for 70 to 80 million iPhone 6 units. By comparison, Apple only ordered 50 to 60 million iPhone 5s and 5c models last year.
With last year's launch, Apple saw unexpectedly high demand of its flagship iPhone 5s model, with lower-than-expected sales of the then-new iPhone 5c model. The company changed its order mix to compensate, but for more than a month, the iPhone 5s was somewhat difficult to acquire, particularly if customers desired a particular color and capacity combination, with the new gold phone especially poorly stocked.
With the new iPhone, Apple is looking to take advantage of pent-up demand for a larger-screened phone, as many customers have held off upgrading some older iPhones models like the iPhone 4 and 4s.
The iPhone 6 should balance out the biggest selling point for Android phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S 5, giving Apple larger screens to go with its widely praised operating system.
This may lead to increased demand for businesses that supply phones to employees. The same consumer demand that Apple Stores will see may appear in corporate IT departments. Some business users will upgrade their older iPhones to the new, larger-screened units — even Android and BlackBerry users might switch to an iPhone now that the screen differential is gone.
Apple's hope is that the increased iPhone order size will avoid ordering hiccups that the firm experienced last year and that it will have more than enough supply to fulfill customer demand going into its busiest quarter. The new iPhone is expected to launch in September, which us consistent with the past several years.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Apple's suppliers have had some difficulties with production for the flagship 5.5-inch model, which uses a newer and more complicated screen type that combines touch sensors into the display itself with something called in-cell technology. According to the report, suppliers are seeing higher screen failure rates than with the 4.7-inch unit, and Apple has increased display orders to compensate.
Both consumers and businesses generally see a surge of demand for new iPhone models when they're released in the fall, but the iPhone 6 could see demand that's even larger than usual. Apple's new partnership with IBM, which should be starting to gear up this fall, will make life a little easier for IT departments, and so will improved enterprise support in iOS 8.
Are you eager to get your hands on the larger iPhone 6? Let us know in the comments below.
Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.