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Apple issues formal iPhone 5 invites

See also: iPhone 5 launch: everything you need to know.

Apple on Tuesday sent out press invitations to a media event on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in San Francisco, with a clear hint that iPhone 5 will be announced then. See also: iPhone 5 launch: everything you need to know.

The tagline on the document is short and suggestive: "It's almost here." Beneath the number 12, for Sept. 12, is a shadow of the number "5."

The invitation has been expected since late July when several news sites reported sources telling them of the Sept. 12 event. It will be held in Apple's typical venue, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, starting at 10 a.m. local time, or 1 p.m. Eastern.

Apple is expected to unveil the latest addition to its iPhone product line, the sixth generation of the pathbreaking smartphone. Most media still refer to it as "iPhone 5."

The new phone is expected to have a taller, but not wider screen, 4G/LTE cellular radio, an Apple-designed dual-core processor in a smaller form factor, which will draw less power, but possibly a higher clock speed, to maintain or slightly, improve performance.

It will run the not-yet-released iOS 6 firmware, which Apple unveiled in June. Also expected: a smaller dock connector in the phone's base, and presumably an adapter plug to let the phone make use of existing peripheral devices.

Purported iPhone 5 parts have been showing up in online reports for weeks: If accurate, they indicate the larger-screened iPhone 5 will have a modified sideband, a two-tone all-metal back plate, and a look and feel only slightly different from the current iPhone 4S.

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