Apple reportedly set to launch new iPhone on Sept. 9


Apple may be planning a launch event for Sept. 9. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Apple fans, mark your calendars for Sept. 9. — in pencil at least.

According to a Tuesday report from Re/Code's John Paczkowski, Apple has booked a major media event for the second Tuesday of September. But fans should note that Apple itself hasn't confirmed anything; in fact, the company declined to comment when reached by The Washington Post.

Despite the silent treatment from Cupertino, Paczkowski — who has an excellent track record when it comes to reporting on Apple rumors — reports that it's safe to assume that the event will focus on Apple's new models of the iPhone, which would be in keeping with the schedule Apple has set over the past few years.

The rumor mill suggests that Apple will release two phones with screens larger than the 4-inch display on current models: one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.5-inch screen. Such a move would follow a trend toward larger screens that Apple competitors such as Samsung have embraced, particularly as consumers watch more video on their phones.

Apple faces high expectations with the next version of the iPhone. The company makes the majority of its sales from iPhones, and many customers who opted to skip the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are now itching to upgrade.

The company reported better-than-expected iPhone sales in its latest quarter — 35.2 million devices, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year — illustrating that demand for its products is still very high. But many will still be looking to Apple to release something revolutionary, if only to face down doubters who say that the company has lost its innovative touch.

If the reports are true, the timing of the Sept. 9 event also puts Apple in position to hit the market with two new smartphones at a time when its chief rival, Samsung, is showing some uncharacteristic weakness.

Samsung last week reported a 25 percent drop in its operating profit and warned that the company could continue to face slowing sales and increased competition this year. A Tuesday report from the market analysis firm Canalys showed that, for the first time since 2011, Samsung was not the first-place smartphone maker in one of the most important regions for the industry: China.

Samsung gave that crown up to Xiaomi, a Chinese firm that thrives in the mid- and lower-range sections of the market — a part of the market that Samsung has appealed to in a bid to gain a sales edge over Apple for the past several years.

Meanwhile, Apple's high-end smartphones have seen tremendous growth in China, which is now Apple's fastest-growing market and its third-largest overall, behind the Americas and Europe.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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