China.com claims that Apple has set a firm Sept. 25 release date for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, which will be followed by a 5.5-inch model dubbed the "iPhone Air" later in the year.
The biggest hole in this rumor is that Sept. 25 is a Thursday, and Apple historically releases new iPhone models on Fridays. We think the iPhone 6's previously rumored release date of Friday, Sept. 19, carries more weight, but nothing is certain. Apple is already set to shake things up with two significantly different handsets set to launch this year, so a change in release timing isn't out of the question.
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Speaking of different handsets, AppleInsider points out that the long-rumored 5.5-inch iPhone will be called the iPhone Air. This would surely help differentiate the two devices should they both release this year, but it would be a little strange for Apple to name its biggest-ever smartphone after its "Air" products, which are associated with thinness and lightness.
The iPhone Air is also the name of a recent mockup (pictured above) by artists Simone Evangelista and Ran Avni. This concept casts the iPhone Air as a full product line, one that includes a 3.5-inch iPhone Air Mini, a 4.7-inch iPhone Air and a 5.5-inch iPhone Air Pro.
Whichever September date it happens to arrive on, the iPhone 6 is expected to launch with iOS 8, a zippy A8 processor, an extra-durable sapphire display and NFC capabilities. The device's rumored launch window is only two months away, so stay tuned for the official details straight from Tim Cook.