The Apple iPhone 6 is bound to be the company’s most successful smartphone, at least according to analysts following the company. Information that leaked to the Wall Street Journal this morning suggesting that Apple has already ordered 80 million units of its next generation smartphone. Those units are said to be due for delivery before December 30 of this year.

Apple iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Mockup Image

That news has analysts very excited heading into the release of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) third quarter earnings report later today. The iPhone 6 will not appear on that report, not unless it comes up in the company’s guidance, but it is sure to dominate trading of the company’s stock today, and for the next several months. Apple’s future, in the eyes of investors, is dominated by its ability to create successful devices time after time, that makes the iPhone 6 the highest priority right now.

iPhone 6 release date may be clear today

iPhone 6 rumors have regularly pointed to September/October as the most likely time for the release of the next Apple smartphone, but the company’s earnings report, which will hit the Street tonight, may contain major clues about the release of the iPhone 6.

Apple will reveal guidance for the current quarter, which it records as its fourth of fiscal 2014, in this afternoon’s earnings report. Given the proportion of the company’s revenue that comes from iPhone sales, and the fall off in sales heading into the release of a new iPhone, tonight’s earnings report will be able to be read for the iPhone 6 release date.

If the company’s sales guidance is very conservative, and almost embarrassing bad, expect the iPhone 6 release date to fall after the September 27 end of the company’s fourth fiscal quarter. If revenue guidance is good, the release date for the iPhone 6 is likely to fall in the days before that date.

Large screens set to drive iPhone 6 sales

The most persistent rumor about the iPhone 6 is that the device will be much larger than previous smartphone releases from the company. According to the most vocal analysts Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release two versions of the iPhone 6 in the coming months, one with a 4.7 inch screen and another with a 5.5 inch screen. Rumors of technical production problems have dogged the larger of the two, however, and that may push its release back to next year.

Apple iPhone 6

Large screens have been a feature of Android phones for years, and analysts are presuming that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) managed to lose a certain swathe of the market by not offering anything quite as large as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Google Nexus 5. The iPhone 6 is set to prove, or undermine that theory. Given the Wall Street Journal prediction of Apple’s expected sales, the company seems pretty confident about the effect of the larger screen on iPhone sales.

iPhone 6 spec speculation

Other features likely to be included in the iPhone 6, which may help to drive sales alongside the device’s large screen, include the many abilities of iOS 8, which is, at this stage, sure to be shipped with the iPhone 6. The device may also have a much more effective camera, with something above 8 mega-pixels a regular rumor.

The company’s larger smartphone screens are likely to be strengthened by the inclusion of Sapphire Glass in their structure, and the iPhone 6 may also bring the colors of the iPhone 5S to the company’s premium smartphone. On top of that the iPhone 6 is said to be much thinner than its already svelte predecessor, and battery life may be given a boost by an increase in total size.

Apple fails to differentiate

For all of the talk about a deal with IBM and the launch of a range of wearable computers, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is still an extremely undifferentiated company. The firm’s future rests on the iPhone, not the iPad or the Mac, and certainly not the iPod or iWatch.

With iPad sales apparently falling away, and the iPhone 6 set to be the biggest seller in Apple history, the smartphone will dominate the company’s future. The iPhone 6 will not only be important part of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), it seems it will account for the vast majority of the company’s revenue going ahead.