The West

iPhone 6 set for Sep 9 release
An idea of what the iWatch could look like

Apple is expected to release the new iPhone 6, along with a new smartwatch - tentatively named the iWatch - on September 9, sources say.

The company this week handed out invitations to the "special event" at its California home for September 9 which read "wish we could say more."

But tech insiders, who have been starved of any new Apple products since the iPad in 2010, expect the company to launch the iPhone along with the iWatch and perhaps even a new iPad at the event.

Apple is expected to unveil larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens for iPhones, in driven in part by the success of larger devices created by rival Samsung.

A mock up of what the new iPhone6 could potentially look like including a range of screen size changes. Photo: Twitter

Recent research shows smartphones using the Android operating system - used by Samsung - are more popular than Apple by about 10 per cent.

However the long-awaited iPhone 6 is expected to help the Californian-based company close the gap.

Some analysts think Apple could sell at least 70 million units of the iPhone 6 within the first few months after the device hits the market.

Apple traditionally uses its September events to showcase its most important products, with the iPhone accounting for half its business.

It is unclear how long it would take to hit the shelves in Australia - if it is announced - but past announcements suggest it would two weeks to a month until it is available to buy.

The company that essentially defined the smartphone industry has not introduced a new product since the iPad in 2010, however chief executive Tim Cook has promised new product categories for 2014.

But the company has long disappointed iPhone users and it remains unclear whether the company has another groundbreaking gadget up its sleeve.

Apple has declined to comment on the rumours.

A "smartwatch" or other wearable technology is expected though and would mark the company's first foray into a new product category since the iPad came out.

An idea of what the iWatch will look like and some of the features it may have. Photo: SET Solution

The iWatch or iTime (the name is yet to be confirmed) will look to capitalise on the current health trend by tapping into the Healthkit focus of the new mobile operating system iOS8.

Samsung has released two waves of smartwatches with differing success.

The Samsung Gear Live, an Android Wear smartwatch, on the demo floor at Google I/O 2014 in San Francisco. With Android Wear, software developers won’t have to rewrite apps every time a new watch from Samsung, Sony or another manufacturer comes out. Photo: AP

Much of the pre-event speculation has centred on the use of "sapphire" display screens said to be more scratch-resistant.

Beyond the hardware, the next generation of gadgets will incorporate new software features such as HomeKit, which will help manage connected devices within the home, and HealthKit, a central repository of health data and services. The software was flagged at its developers event in June.

Apple has been discussing its "HealthKit" data service with health providers and apps developers, people familiar with the discussions say.

The West Australian

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