WSJ reports of big iPhone 6 orders ahead of Apple's earnings

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has placed orders for 70M-80M 4.7" and 5.5" iPhone 6 units to be manufactured by Dec. 30, the WSJ reports. That's a sizable increase from the 50M-60M iPhone 5S/5C units Apple initially ordered last year.

Orders can change significantly based on consumer demand - for example, iPhone 5C orders were slashed, and 5S orders increased, following last year's launches. But the report still suggests Cupertino expects strong pent-up demandfor bigger iPhones. If accurate, it's a positive for Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS).

A Taiwanese paper reported two weeks ago Apple had already put in orders for 68M iPhone 6 units. Prior to that, a report stated Foxconn is hiring 100K workers to help with iPhone 6 production.

The WSJ's report comes ahead of Tuesday's FQ3 report. With shares up 26% since the FQ2 report, expectations have risen a bit. UBS just hiked its Apple target by $15 to $115, and raised its FQ3 estimates above consensus on data pointing to a mix shift towards the 5S and iPad Air.

The firm is cautious about FQ4, noting checks point to possible iPhone 6 supply constraints for display-related components (previous: I, II). But it's also upbeat about FY15 margin gains, as capex growth slows and the impact of a 2013 revenue deferral policy change fades.

On average, analysts polled by Fortune expect 35.9M FQ3 iPhone sales, 14.4M iPad sales, and 3.9M Mac sales.