iPhone 5, iPad Mini Unveiling on Sept. 12: Report

Apple will debut the new iPhone and the iPad mini at a special event on Sept. 12, according to one report.

Reports and rumors concerning the release date of Apple€™s latest update to its popular iPhone smartphone, commonly referred to as the iPhone 5, have been drawing as much attention as unconfirmed reports of the handset€™s possible new features, and a report from Mac-centric tech blog iMore is likely to add to the impending hysteria. The blog quoted unnamed sources €œwho have proven accurate in the past€ that said the iPhone 5€”along with a smaller version of the iPad tablet, dubbed the iPad mini€”would debut during a special event by Apple on Sept. 12, with the release of the new iPhone following nine days later on Sept. 21.

The site also said Apple€™s latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6, announced during the company€™s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June, would also be formally unveiled during the Sept. 12 event. The updated OS contains more than 200 new features, including an update for digital concierge Siri, an all-new in-house maps application, Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, and a new Passbook app, which offers a single place to keep track of things like boarding passes, loyalty cards and tickets for events. Virtual coupons and cards can be scanned on the device, and Passbook can alert users to related information like flight delays.

The main feature rumored for the new iPhone is a larger, 4-inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, a step up from the iPhone 4S€™ 3.5-inch screen. The handset is likely to offer other enhanced features to face competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S III and other Google Android-based smartphones, such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), near-field communication (NFC) capabilities and a faster quad-core processor. The most controversial feature is a redesigned connector dock that could render accessories for previous versions of the iPhone obsolete, a move that has angered some Apple diehards.

Whenever the new iPhone does debut, evidence suggests consumers will be champing at the bit to get their hands on one. According to a recent survey by ChangeWave, 14 percent of the more than 4,000 consumers surveyed said they were €œvery likely€ to purchase an iPhone 5 when it debuts, and 17 percent of respondents said they were €œsomewhat likely€ to purchase the smartphone. The report noted demand is €œstrikingly higher€ for the latest iPhone than for any previous model.

While the new iPhone has long been expected to launch sometime between August and October, the possible existence of a smaller, lower-priced iPad to compete with offerings from Google, Amazon and others is far less certain. According to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that was picked up on the Apple-centric blog MacRumors last week, Apple will debut a 7-inch iPad sometime in September, following a production ramp-up in August.