iPhone 5 unveiling reportedly set for Sept. 12

Flurry of rumors also predicts advent of Apple iPad mini, new iPod touch, and iPod nano

Apple's iPhone 5 is due to be unveiled on Sept. 12, according to posts on three separate news or rumor websites. The new phone will be released before the end of the month, they say.

The latest iPhone rumors are being accompanied with a flurry of others: that Apple also will announce at or near the same time a new smaller version of the iPad (the so-called "iPad mini") as well as the iPad 4, a new iPod nano, and a new iPod touch.

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SCUTTLEBUTT: iPhone 5 rumor rollup for the week ending July 27
APPLE IPHONEYS: The iPhone 5 edition

iMore's Rene Ritchie, citing anonymous "sources who have proven accurate in the past," says Apple will hold a special event on Sept. 12 to unveil the next iPhone, which will be released nine days later on Friday, Sept. 21.

Ritchie's sources don't seem to have any new details on the phone's features. He repeats what could be called the iOSphere's Rumor Consensus: it will have a 4-inch, 16:9 screen, based on what's called "in-cell display" technology (creating a thinner screen assembly), a smaller dock connector, and a smaller SIM card. Together, these "should leave lots of room for the LTE radio we learned about earlier in the year, and the bigger battery to go along with it," he says.

Two other sites, The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog and The Verge, also cited sources saying Apple will hold an "event" the week of Sept. 9, but couldn't say it will be for the new iPhone.

John Paczkowski, at AllThingsD, posted that "Sources tell AllThingsD that Apple is currently planning an event for the week of September 9th, with Wednesday being the date on which it will likely be held. And while we haven't yet confirmed the event's focus, history suggests it will indeed be the new iPhone."

"Our own sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that date," posted Dante D'Orazio, at The Verge. "It's still not certain what will be announced at the event, but it seems very likely that it will be the next-generation iPhone."

As evidence for a "big fall product cycle" from Apple, Paczkowski says "you need only look at the recent spike in the company's prepayment for inventory components."

"According to Apple's latest 10-Q filing, prepayment for inventory components rose $1.15 billion sequentially in the June quarter," Paczkowski writes. "That's a big increase, one that puts such prepayments at their highest level in four years -- 12.6% of Apple's total sales, according to Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um. And as Um notes, they're a good indicator that Apple is ramping up for a big product launch -- or several of them."

There's a big difference between a big product launch and several product launches. In the case of iPhone and iPad, Apple is making them available in new, and big, markets, notably China. Just to have more iPhone 5 handsets available for sale will require expanded "inventory components" and production capability, for which Apple plans to spend around $8 billion this year.

The Loop's experienced Apple watcher, Jim Dalrymple had a typically laconic comment on the rumored Sept. 12 iPhone event: "Yep."

Apparently based on the same sources, iMore's Ritchie also claims Apple will announce the iPad mini, which "will be exactly like the 9.7-inch iPad, only scaled down to 7.x-inches," and a new iPod nano.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww Email: john_cox@nww.com Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed

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This story, "iPhone 5 unveiling reportedly set for Sept. 12" was originally published by NetworkWorld.

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