The rumor mill is churning rapidly as the countdown to the release of the iPhone 6 continues. While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) refuse to confirm any of its fans’ expectations, not even acknowledging the existence of the smartphone, we are now gaining a very clear impression of what to expect from this key mobile release.

Apple iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Mockup Image

Apple Supply chain leaks

The first important piece of news is that strong indication is now coming out of the Chinese supply chain for Apple regarding when the iPhone 6 will hit the High Street. Sources have confirmed today that Apple is planning to begin selling its next iPhone on September 25. This goes hand-in-hand with previous rumors and leaks, which have long since suggested that the iPhone 6 will be released in September. When Apple will unveil the iPhone 6 remains to be seen, but betting against a September release now looks to be an unwise occupation.

In addition to the release date, another rumor that has persisted which now looks to be extremely solid is that there will be a new phablet-like model of the iPhone released. This new iPhone 6 model, which will feature a 5.5-inch screen, will apparently be marketed as an ‘iPhone Air’, putting in very much in line with recent laptop and tablet releases from Apple.

While there had been some doubt over the long rumored Apple phablet, it now seems that this will definitely materialize. This would seem to make commercial and strategic success, given that Apple’s biggest rival, Samsung, already has a successful phablet in the marketplace. This new iPhone 6 would be treated by Apple as almost a completely separate device to its standard smartphone – hence the change in branding – and be treated as an entirely new revenue stream.

iPhone 6 pricing

In terms of pricing, reports are now indicating that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will cost 5,288 yuan ($850) when it arrives in the stores. The 5.5-inch phablet will naturally be slightly more expensive, with supply chain sources suggesting that the new model will retail for around 5,998 yuan ($965).

Although there is radio silence from Apple on the subject, sources close to the consumer electronics giant also suggest that testing of the new iPhone 6 is already well underway. Apple’s two partner carriers in the region, China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) and China Unicom Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHU) (HKG:0762), are apparently already testing prototype iPhone 6 units on their 4G network, ahead of a release in just over ten weeks’ time.

In terms of other spec, there are naturally rather a lot of rumors flying around. The notion of an iPhone 6 with a curved screen has been particularly prominent in recent days; a modish feature since Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) introduced its range of curved televisions. But this cannot be considered a certainty by any means. The iPhone 6 is likely to be super-slimline, though, with Apple intending to create a real splash with the 5.5-inch version in particular. The larger iPhone could have up to 128GB in storage capacity, making it the biggest iPhone in storage terms to be released thus far.

With the purported release date of the iPhone 6 looming, we won’t have to wait too much longer for the rumors and leaks to be confirmed or otherwise…