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iPhone 6 eyed by 50% of smartphone buyers, poll says

And a quarter of those polled by RBC would be willing to pay a $100 premium for an iPhone with a 5.5-inch display.

iPhone 6 mock-up. Ciccarese Design

The iPhone 6 will rack up "solid" consumer demand, at least according to the results of a poll released Tuesday by investment firm RBC Capital Markets.

Surveying more than 4,000 consumers, RBC found that almost half who plan to upgrade their current phones intend to pick up an iPhone within the next three months. Assuming Apple launches the next iPhone in September per its usual time frame, that percentage would spell heavy sales for the iPhone 6. Further, 35 percent of the consumers who don't have an iPhone in their sights would in fact buy one if Apple bumps up the screen size.

A flurry of recent reports suggest that Apple will increase the screen size for its next iPhone and in fact launch two editions -- one with a 4.7-inch screen, the other with a 5.5-inch display. As consumer demand has ramped up for big-screened smartphones, Apple has lost sales and market share to the Android market, which satisfies the craving for those larger phones. Many analysts believe Apple must increase the display of the iPhone beyond the current 4 inches to recapture lost market share and convince consumers that the phone can keep up with the times.

What are consumers willing to shell out for the iPhone 6? Among those surveyed, 38 percent would be willing to pay $199 to buy a 4.7-inch iPhone, the same price tag as the current 16GB iPhone 5S. But 26 percent would up the ante by $100 by paying $299 for a 5.5-inch iPhone.

Other factors also are important to the iPhone buying public. RBC's poll found that battery life was the most desired feature in a new iPhone, followed by a larger screen size and improvements to the camera.

Peering into its crystal ball, RBC does expect Apple to unveil a 4.7-inch iPhone for $199 and a 5.5-inch edition for $299. The firm is also eyeing an iWatch for later this year and an iPad refresh in November.