Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) expects big things from its iPhone 6, due sometime this year. According to Taiwanese news site Digitimes and reports in China’s Commercial Times, Apple is expected to put in an order for about 90 million of the new units with Foxconn, which builds the devices for Apple in China.
A Citigroup Global Markets report projects that Apple’s 2014 iPhone shipments will grow 23% in calendar 2014. That translates into shipments of nearly 190 million units, up from 153 million units shipped in calendar 2013.
Apple’s shipment growth will come as smartphone sales overall grow some 28%, analyst Wei Chen’s report said. It was 43% in 2013. In mature markets, smartphone growth may be as little as 4%, down from 5% in 2013.
The iPhone 6 is expected to feature a larger display, better camera and other features. It is expected to be announced in June, with sales starting in September.
The expectations for the iPhone 6 are growing because sales of the iPhone 5c have not been as robust as hoped. Digitimes also reported this week that shipments of the device were cut substantially at the end of 2013 as inventories built up.
Apple reported iPhone sales overall totaled a new high at 51 million units in its fiscal first quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season. That was a 7% increase from a year earlier. But Digitimes said that the mix of iPhone 5s and 5c sales did not add as much to sales as had been expected.
The problems have been the high price and that the four-inch display is smaller than what Samsung and others are shipping. The iPhone is the main driver of Apple revenue and profit. Apple shares were off 0.04% to $532.14 in early trading Thursday.