iPhone 6 release date set for September? 4.7 inch smartphone likely to launch in summer

(Image: Nowwhereelse.fr)Is this the iPhone 6?

French tech website Nowwhereelse.fr has released what are said to be the first photos of Apple's iPhone 6 or iPhone Air, the latest iteration of Apple's hugely popular smartphone.

Analysts say the latest iPhone is a real beauty, featuring rounded edges that add to its appeal. The leaked photos show a thinner, rounder design visually similar to the HTC One. Most notably, the iPhone's screen reaches the edges of its body.

Analysts cautioned that since the phone hasn't even been announced yet, the public should to take all of this leaked news with a grain of salt.

Leaked images from Mac Rumors seem to confirm the photos from Nowwhereelse.fr, however. Sam Beckett, a British designer with a good track record of predicting what the next iPhone will look like, forecasts a thinner iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen.

Mac Rumors also referred to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, as having said that the iPhone 6 4.7-inch is likely slated for a September 2014 release date.

Other sources said there won't be one but two new iPhones: one with a 4.7 inch screen and one with a 5.5 inch screen.

Whatever the final physical form, the factors driving the new iPhone's features seem to confirm Apple's admission that the strongest demand from consumers was coming from less expensive and larger screen smartphones such as those offered by Samsung and HTC.

Sources said the smartphone market worldwide grew by 228 million units in 2012. Of this increase, 159 million units were phones with screens larger than 4 inches that cost less than $300, a price that is about half that of the iPhone 5.

Sales of larger phones that cost more than $300 came to 91 million units while there was a drop of 22 million units in every other sector. Apple's growth rates from 2009 to 2013 plunged from 107 percent to 8 percent.

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