You probably already know that the iPhone 6 is one of the most highly-anticipated smartphone launches of the year, but did you know that it's likely Apple is going to release two new iPhones this autumn? The second is expected to fall into the 'phablet' category, and rumour has it Apple has named it the iPhone Air. Here, we bring you iPhone Air release date rumours, feature speculation and leaked photos. Update on 22/08/14. See also: iPad 6 release date rumours.
We've gathered together all of the evidence to bring you everything we know about the iPhone Air so far, so read on to find out what the iPhone Air will look like, when the iPhone Air is coming out, and what new features the iPhone Air might have.
If you want to find out more about the iPhone 6, which is expected to arrive alongside the iPhone Air with a 4.7in display and a new, rounded design, visit our iPhone 6 rumour round-up.
iPhone Air release date: When is the iPhone Air coming out?
There's still no official release date for the iPhone Air. In fact, there's no confirmation that an iPhone Air is coming at all. But the evidence is mounting to suggest that the bigger iPhone is being developed behind the scenes at Apple, so we can certainly take a good guess.
After all, Apple CEO Tim Cook hasn't ruled out the possibility of a bigger iPhone. Back in April 2013, during an Apple earnings call, Cook said: "Some customers value large screen size, others value also other factors such as resolution, colour quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatible apps, many things."
"Our competitors have made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display," Cook continued. "We would not ship a larger-display iPhone while these trade-offs exist."
That was more than a year ago, and since then technology has advanced to help eliminate many of those trade-offs. Take LG's LG G3, for example, with its stunning QHD display.
In December of 2013, Cook wrote that Apple has "big plans" for 2014, which could well be a sneaky hint at a bigger iPhone. He also says that he believes there are significant opportunities for Apple to expand the position of products such as the iPhone, and has noted that his statement that Apple doesn't aim to make the most smartphones has been misunderstood as him saying there will only be one iPhone at a time. The iPhone 5C is a clear example of that misunderstanding, as it launched at the same time as the iPhone 5S in September last year.
So with all of these comments from the head of Apple himself hinting at a bigger iPhone, the question is when, not if. Plus, there are numerous analysts and Apple watchers putting their money on an iPhone Air this year.
Most rumours point to a September unveiling alongside the iPhone 6, but the most recent rumour, which comes from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities, suggests the iPhone Air could be delayed until 2015.
On 13 July, Kuo said that Apple is facing production issues for the iPhone 6, and that these issues are even worse for the iPhone Air. He therefore expects that Apple will push its launch back to 2015. At a push, Apple could choose to launch the iPhone Air in November this year, said Kuo, but he's not holding out much hope for that scenario.
We've heard similar rumours about the bigger iPhone delays in the past, but those were countered by later rumours that said the problems had been resolved. We'll have to wait for more information before drawing any solid conclusions.
If the iPhone Air does arrive with the iPhone 6, then 9 September could be the day Apple unveils the new iPhone ahead of a 19 September on sale date. However, Reuters suggests that issues with the display in the supply chain could push this back.
iPhone Air rumours: Design
The iPhone Air is expected to have a huge 5.5in display, which sets it up for the 'phablet' market. That's the same size as the LG G3's display.
The reason for the iPhone Air name, which has been talked about for a while now but was recently 'confirmed by a source' from China, is its thin and light design, apparently. Joining the iPad Air and MacBook Air, the iPhone Air is likely to particularly thin and light thanks to the use of new materials such as a sapphire display and liquidmetal chassis, which are stronger and therefore aren't required to be as thick.
According to DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh, the iPhone Air will have a pixel density of 401ppi, compared with the iPhone 5S's 326ppi.
Alternatively, KDB Daewoo Securities says that the iPhone Air will have a 2272 by 1280 pixel display, which is 474ppi.
iPhone Air rumours: Leaked images
There are lots of leaked images of the 4.7in iPhone 6, but less of the iPhone Air, which could suggest that those rumours about a delay are true.
We have seen a photo of 'dummy models' of the iPhone 6 and iPhone Air side-by-side. While they're just mock-ups, they're pretty convincing, and are said to have been based on leaked specifications from Apple's factories. Plus, the come from previously accurate blogger Sonny Dickson on Twitter, so they could well be the real deal.
There's also a video of the mockups (below), compared with the iPhone 5s to give a better idea of what they'll look like and how much bigger they are.
As we near September, numerous leaked parts allegedly destined to make up the internal components of the iPhone Air have emerged.
In addition to the leaked images showing what the iPhone 6 and iPhone Air might look like on the outside, we've also seen a SIM card tray that could belong to the iPhone Air, and flex cables for the volume, mute, wake and sleep buttons.
The flex cables appear to confirm that Apple is considering moving the power button to the right of the device rather than the top where it has been located on previous iPhones.
Three of the SIM card trays shown in a photograph published by Apple.club.tw are blue, which sparked some suggestions that the iPhone Air may come in a new blue design. However, it's also possible that the parts are simply unfinished or belong to a prototype. Of course, it's just as possible that these parts don't belong to an iPhone at all…
At the end of July, we were also treated to a look at what could be the logic board for the iPhone Air.
There are also some concept images like the one shown at the top of this article, which was created by designer Gaétan Pautler. See more of his work here.