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Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing vice-president, presents new iPhone models on Tuesday. Image Credit: New York Times

Seattle: Apple Inc. has asked suppliers to make as many as 80 million iPhones in the first half of this year, an increase of more than 10 per cent from the previous year’s output, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Apple has booked orders for as many as 65 million units of current models, primarily the iPhone 11 series, and as many as 15 million units of a new low-cost model, the paper reported, citing unidentified people.

Apple suppliers plan to begin assembling the low-cost iPhone next month and they have been boosting overall iPhone production, Bloomberg News reported last week. Apple expects iPhone sales to return to growth this year because of strong demand and aims to ship more than 200 million for the year, Bloomberg reported last year.

The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models were well received on their debut in the fall and their sales in China have been particularly strong, outselling 2018’s releases in a market that has otherwise been shrinking.

The Cupertino, California-based company is expected to officially unveil the new low-cost phone as early as March, one person familiar said last week. The assembly work for the new handset will be split among Hon Hai Precision Industry, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp., the people added.