(Adds Apple's response, details)
Feb 17 (Reuters) - Apple Inc has asked its Asian suppliers to make 5-6 million units of its three Apple Watch models for the first-quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc, the sole assembler of the Apple Watch, started mass production earlier this year to get ready for an April launch, the Journal said. (http://on.wsj.com/17MpwkR)
Thousands will work round the clock during the Chinese New Year holidays at Quanta's factory in Changshu, China, the newspaper reported, quoting one person.
Apple said it does not comment on rumor or speculation. The iPhone maker's shares rose as much as 1.9 percent to a record $129.45 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday morning.
The entry-level Apple Watch Sport model accounts for half the production order, while the mid-tiered Apple Watch will count for a third, one person told the WSJ.
The high-end Apple Watch Edition with 18-karat gold casing, is expected to have relatively small orders in the first quarter, but Apple plans to produce more than 1 million units per month in the second quarter, the Journal reported, citing the person.
The Apple Watch, starting at $349, can receive phone calls and messages, play music, serve as a digital wallet to pay for goods and monitor heart rates via special sensors. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Joyjeet Das)