Apple has started sending out invitations for a launch event in San Francisco on Sept. 12, confirming months of speculation it's gearing up to unveil its fifth-generation iPhone.
The invite embodies Apple's usual air of secrecy, excluding any concrete details related to the new gadget itself except that "It's almost here." It does, however, include the number 12, representative of the event date, which casts a shadow in the shape of the number five, suggesting the new smartphone will launch as the "iPhone 5."
Reports suggesting the latest iPhone would launch in September have been surfacing for months, with many also placing bets on its anticipated specs and design. The smartphone is expected to be at least four inches diagonally compared to the 3.5-inch displays seen with the iPhone 4S and earlier versions.
The iPhone 5 is also expected to run iOS 6, Apple's newest mobile OS, meaning it would deliver a slew of new features such as Apple Maps, a new navigation app to replace Google Apps, and Passbook, a tool that organises and stores all travel-related documents, along with movie tickets, coupons and gift cards.
Apple has also confirmed that iOS 6 will include tighter integration with Facebook, allowing users to post pictures to the popular social media site directly from the iPhone Camera app, along with a revamped version of Siri, the voice-activated personal "assistant" that launched with the iPhone 4S.
Apple's newest gadget will go head-to-head against Samsung's Galaxy S III, an Android-based smartphone launched by the South Korean handset maker in May.
A number of other smartphone and tablet makers are expected to take the wraps off new devices over the coming weeks. Nokia is widely expected to unveil a new version of its Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8 on Sept. 5, while Amazon is reportedly readying a new Kindle Fire for Sept. 6.