iPhone 6 concept (NowhereElse and Martin Hajek 001)

Apple’s business partner in Russia has just blurbed out that the next-generation iPhone – the iPhone 6, if you will – is scheduled to become available in the 144 million people market this September.

Proceed with caution: we’re having a hard time believing a third-party retailer would be privy to such a crucial piece of information.

For all we know, this guy could be looking for free press or could be taking us for a ride. On the other hand, we’ve heard about a September launch before.

For instance, Japan’s Nikkei agency last week said that a 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone are due as early as September of this year, a notion echoed previously by the credulous Wall Street Journal, a few analysts and other sources.

Also, the September timeframe does coincide nicely with Apple’s Fall release schedule for iPhones established since the iPhone 4s’s release back in 2011…

Maxim Nogotkov, the CEO and owner of a Russian company called Svyaznoy said (thanks, Leonid!) that “the iPhone 6 will arrive in Russia in September”.

Here’s video evidence (Flash required) of Nogotkov making the claim during an interview with the Russian DOZHD TV channel (mark 1:08).

Nogotkov’s company has strong ties with Apple in the Russian market, being Apple’s iPhone retailer there since late-2012. The firm operates a chain of Apple-related retail outlets called ‘C-Store’.

In fact, Apple has had to depend on Svyaznoy to sell iPhones in Russia almost exclusively since the country’s wireless carriers refused to carry the device in a dispute last summer regarding subsidies and marketing costs.

These carriers have now resumed sales and Apple recently opened a web store in the country to sell the iPhone directly to consumers.

For more context, Svyaznoy found itself under antitrust scrutiny after retail giant Euroset filed a complaint with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service.

If past rumors and the recently leaked schematic drawing (heavily blurred) are anything to go by, Apple is prepping to introduce two new screen sizes this year, one designed around a 4.7-inch screen and the other boasting a 5.5-inch display.

Apple’s contract manufacturer Pegatron will allegedly start producing these iPhablets at the end of summer. Foxconn, Apple’s primary supplier, is said to have started trial production of the next iPhone with a sapphire-strenthened screen back in January, with the initial production run hitting about hundred units.

According to one study, one out of each three respondents would be happy to pay a $100 more for a large-screened iPhone. Are you among them?

iPhone 6 renders by French blog Nowherelse.fr, in partnership with 3D concept designer Martin Hajek.