Apple all but announced the next version of its popular iPhone Tuesday when it sent out an invitation to a media event to be held in San Francisco on Wednesday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. PDT.
Either this is a reference to the widely anticipated iPhone 5, or Apple is just stringing the public along for some unfathomable reason. The former possibility is much more likely, particularly given that the recent publication of reports about iPhone 5 components.
Last month, for example, iResQ, a device repair website, published images of what it claims is an iPhone 5 exterior casing. The images appear to confirm speculation that the iPhone 5 will be larger and will have a revised dock connector port.
Apple's event could also include the announcement of a new iPod touch, iPod Nano, and perhaps a 7" iPad. However, it now appears that Apple intends to discuss these devices at a subsequent event, perhaps in October.
Apple's mobile operating system refresh, iOS 6, is likely to be featured at next week's event. Apple developers have been working with pre-release versions of Apple's mobile operating system for several months. The company has said that iOS 6 is "coming this fall," but reports suggest that the iPhone 5, which presumably will ship with iOS 6, will be available September 21, the last day of summer.
And research firm Gartner recently noted that demand for Apple's iPhone was down 12.6% in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the first quarter, a dip the firm attributed to "users postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches."