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(Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is preparing for the largest initial production run for its next iPhones by the end of the year, the Wall Street journal reported.
The company is asking suppliers to manufacture 85 million to 90 million units of two new models with 4.7-inch and .5-inch displays.
The company had ordered 70 million to 80 million of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last year, in its largest initial production run so far.
The new phones are also expected to feature Force Touch technology which can distinguish between a light tap and deep press, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.
The information about orders came from Apple’s suppliers, the paper added.
Bloomberg reported last month that suppliers had started initial production of iPhone models with Force Touch, a technology already used in Apple Watch and MacBook laptop.
The screen sizes are the same as in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is also expected to maintain the screen resolution, the Journal said.
Apple is also considering a third assembler, Taiwan-based Wistron Corp (3231.TW) to help produce the new phones, the paper said. Last year, Apple relied on Hon Hai Precision Industry Co(2317.TW) and Pegatron Corp 4938.TW.
Some component suppliers started manufacturing parts for the new iPhones in large quantity earlier this month, the newspaper reported.
Hon Hai, Apple's primary assembler also known as Foxconn, has been recruiting workers at its main iPhone production base in Zhengzhou, north-central China, anticipating mass production to begin next month, the journal reported.
Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.
Apple's shares were down 1.8 percent at $123.50 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.
Reporting By Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian