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iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus demand challenges Foxconn, record production volumes still don’t suffice

By April Taylor , Sep 17, 2014 09:36 AM EDT
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The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus haven't even hit retail yet, but supplies already seem to be running short and some availability issues could arise.

The latest iPhone models made their formal debut on Sept. 9 and went up for pre-order on Sept. 12, generating record demand. Apple reported whopping first-day pre-orders that topped 4 million units within the first 24 hours, noting at the time that demand had exceeded initial pre-order supply.

Indeed, many interested buyers had some troubles when trying to pre-order the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus on the first day, as some were unable to access Apple's website and app to place an order. Shipping estimates have also slipped due to high demand, but it now seems that the issues may be of larger proportions.

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Foxconn, which is in charge of manufacturing both iPhone 6 models for Apple, is having trouble in keeping up with demand for the devices.

More specifically, sources at Foxconn told the WSJ that although production is running around the clock, it's still facing some real challenges in keeping up with the high demand for the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus. At the same time, the sources also confirmed that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is in higher demand, if there was any doubt left.

"We have been churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6 every day, the highest daily output ever, but the volume is still not enough to meet the preorders," the WSJ learned from a source close to the matter. "For iPhone 6 Plus, we are still ramping up the production line. Another reason for the limited supply is the shortage of 5.5-inch displays."

At this rate, it will be interesting to see how many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units Apple will have ready in retail stores this Friday, Sept. 19, when the devices are set to make their commercial debut. Apple also announced that such high pre-order demand means that not all pre-order customers will get their devices on time, as some shipping estimates have been pushed back to October.

Based on pre-order demand, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is expected to sell out quicker than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but it remains to be seen. 

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