Apple’s iPhone 5 gets a launch date

Apple is expected to launch its long-awaited iPhone 5 on Wednesday, September 12, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. 

Official invitations sent by Cupertino read “It’s almost here,” with a large shadow of the number “5” hinting at the unveiling of the next-gen handset, which could hit the streets by September 21.

Although Apple has yet to officially confirm specs for the new smartphone, reports indicate the device will boast a complete redesign with a 4-inch screen and two-toned metal back.

As AppleInsider notes, the iPhone 5 is widely expected to retain the traditional hardware home screen button, with the forward-facing FaceTime camera centered above the earpiece. 

Meanwhile, the headphone jack is thought to have been moved to the bottom of the device, with the next-gen handset also expected to feature a smaller 9-pin dock connector.

NFC capabilities will apparently have to wait for future iterations of the wildly popular smartphone. 

Nevertheless, the iPhone 5 will likely run Cupertino’s upcoming iOS 6 OS with the new Passbook application, which serves as a digital wallet of sorts with event tickets, boarding passes and store cards.

What about Apple’s rumored iPad Mini? Well, the smaller version of the tablet is believed to have its own launch date and event some time this October.

While official specs are completely non-existent, rumors indicate the iPad mini may be packaged with a mini flex cable with a smaller dock connector, as Apple moves from the current 30-pin version to a compact 9-pin paradigm. Other features may include a 7.85-inch display with 1024 x 768 resolution.