**Editor’s Note: Click here for our list of July’s hottest selling smartphones to see how Apple’s iPhone fared against the competition.**
The official countdown to the unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 6 has begun.
The invitations to media have gone out — and it comes as no surprise that the second Tuesday in September will be D-Day, or in this case, i-Day. It’s been rumored for weeks that Apple’s annual iPhone spectacle would be held on Sept. 9, speculation that has come true.
Apple is remaining mum about any details; in fact, the company’s invitation simply said the date and “wish we could say more.” It doesn’t even indicate that it’s an iPhone event, but that seems highly likely considering its history. It was the same week a year ago that Apple introduced the iPhone 5s and 5c, which went on sale 10 days later. So we fully expect to learn that the latest version of the iconic handset will go on sale on Sept. 19.
Industry insiders have predicted that two new iPhones will be introduced just 12 days from now – one with a 4.7-inch display and other that sports a 5.5-inch screen, fitting solidly into the “phablet” category. An increase in size over Apple’s previous four-inch models is considered imperative in order to keep up with Samsung and a number of other Android smartphone manufacturers that are regularly producing devices with screens of five inches or larger.
Channel partners and other fans of the iPhone will be interested in the latest rumor, one that’s been recycled for years: It might finally come NFC-enabled to make mobile payments easier.
Is the iPhone not enough for you? A report emerged this week saying that a bigger – 12.9-inch – iPad is on the way. Perhaps we’ll hear about that as well on Sept. 9, even though it’s supposedly not set to debut until after the first of the year.
Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.