Get prepared for a big second half from Apple. At least that's what a look at the numerous reports pointing to a big iPhone 6 launch from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) this fall would suggest. And the reports aren't stopping. The latest comes from Taiwan's Business Weekly (via GforGames), making rounds in the media this morning.
Apple iPhone 6 orders from suppliers are apparently unprecedented. In fact, initial orders for the new iPhone are twice those for the iPhone 5 (68 million units), according to Business Weekly. The site claims that Apple has asked Foxconn and Pegatron to begin mass production this month.
Unfortunately, Business Weekly didn't specify whether or not the order is for both the alleged 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch device or for just one version of the iPhone 6. Either way, however, it signals unprecedented production for the latest-generation iPhone.
Apple has big plans for the iPhone 6
For further perspective, consider that Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the first quarter of availability of the iPhone 5s and 5c. That was up just 6.7% from first-quarter 2013 iPhone 5 sales. So, doubling the initial order for iPhone 6 devices compared to the iPhone 5 would likely put Apple well-ahead of iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c deliveries, assuming the demand is there. Perhaps Apple is trying not to relive the same supply limitations it runs into with every iPhone launch.
While the added perspective from Business Weekly that Apple's initial order for iPhone 6 units may be twice the initial order for the iPhone 5 is new, it's no surprise that Apple appears to be betting big on the device.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said in May that, based on reports from Far East Apple suppliers, it appeared suppliers were gearing up for iPhone 6 sales that exceed iPhone 5s sales by at least 20%.
Further, iPhone suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron are reportedly boosting their workforce related to iPhone 6 production by 10% and 30%, respectively. And Foxconn CEO Terry Gou says he is prepping 10,000 robots to help in Apple device production. These robots, dubbed "foxbots," will play a supporting role alongside employees in Foxconn's factories, according to United Daily News.
All of these reports support the argument that Apple has big plans for the iPhone 6.
Another reason to be bullish on Apple stock?
Given Apple's conservative valuation, meaningful growth in Apple's iPhone segment could prove to be a catalyst for the stock. And it's not just production that looks poised to be unprecedented; demand will likely be robust, too. Consider, for instance, a survey earlier this year from ChangeWave (via Fortune). After surveying 4,109 individuals, the research company concluded:
'This is the highest level of demand for an unannounced Apple model in a ChangeWave survey – stronger than we've seen in previous years for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 models prior to their announcements,' said Andy Golub of 451 Research [the company that oversees ChangeWave]. 'Speculation over a larger screen iPhone is clearly striking a chord with consumers.'
Can Apple truly pull off another record-iPhone launch? Given the lack of evidence to the contrary, it appears likely.