Apple reportedly readying record production for iPhone 6

Suppliers asked to make 70 million to 80 million handsets with bigger screens, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Apple is apparently going big with its next-generation iPhone, both in terms of screen size and production volume.

The handsets, which Apple has yet to announce, will sport much-rumored 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens, according to The Wall Street Journal. Betting that larger screens will attract more consumers, Apple has asked its suppliers to produce 70 million to 80 million units combined by December 30, the newspaper reported.

That manufacturing target would be a big uptick from previous models of the smartphone. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's initial order for iPhone 5s and 5c was between 50 million and 60 million, the Journal reported. Both models are expected to sport metal cases and come in a variety of colors, sources told the newspaper.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Rumors of a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 have intensified in recent months. A widely cited report from Taiwan's United Daily News/Economic Daily in May indicated that out of the 80 million iPhone 6 units that the supply chain of component manufacturers expects Apple to sell this year, more than 90 percent of the shipments will be for the 4.7-inch model.

Other reports held that Japan-based machine tool manufacturers and component suppliers were gearing up in preparation for the next-generation iPhone. Domestic orders for industries connected to the next-gen iPhone are "booming," Nikkei said in the online Japanese-language version of the daily.