90 million reasons Apple expects iPhone 6s to be a smash hit

According to industry sources, Apple has ordered a record number of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to be built in 2015. Why? The larger phones are bringing larger sales.

Apple may produce a record number of new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets, betting that there will be enough demand from upgraders and new buyers in 2015. By the end of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, Apple may have 90 million units built.

That's up considerably from last year's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus production figures, which was already a record number.

In 2014, the company ordered between 70 and 80 million phones in the new larger 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes, which helped spur demand from those who wanted bigger handsets typically found from Google's Android hardware partners.

Did the new models make a difference?

Considering Apple sold 61.2 million handsets in the last quarter alone -- a jump from 43.7 million in the same time period the prior year -- I'd say yes.

Those who previously bought larger Android phones -- since Apple didn't offer any up to 2014 -- were a large part of that: Tim Cook said in April that the company was seeing a record number of switchers.

The WSJ notes that Apple is considering the addition of a third manufacturing supplier to join Foxconn and Pegatron for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus production in hopes of reducing wait times for consumers that want the latest and greatest iPhone.

Similar to other "off years" where Apple tweaks the existing handset model, few if any visual changes are expected in the iPhone 6s.

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The phone will likely support Apple's ForceTouch feature, have faster LTE download speeds and improved camera functionality. I wouldn't be surprised to see more memory included as well along with a faster Apple-designed processor to keep iOS 9 running smoothly.