Apple iPhone 5: Release-Date Announcement Countdown Begins Today

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's note: Please click here for our latest roundup of iPhone 5 speculation or here for our list of July's hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone stacked up against the competition.**

Those closely following the pending release of Apple's next-generation iPhone – the iPhone 5, iPhone 4G, or whatever it will be called – can officially start covering dates on their calendars with X's. If multiple reports that hit the Web two weeks ago prove to be accurate, the Silicon Valley giant will unveil its sixth-generation smartphone one month from today, Sept. 12.

We learned this past week from MacRumors that Apple stores have agreed to match the discounts that Sprint has started offering on the iPhone 4S – you just need to ask for it. That'll save you $50 ($149, $249 or $349, depending on storage capacity) if you're willing to settle for last year's model, which was the company's all-time best seller.

iPhone 4SMeantime, 9to5Mac said last week that the new device will have a better battery.

It's widely expected that the iPhone 5 will be compatible with 4G LTE networks, especially since the third-generation iPad, released several months ago, came LTE-ready. Another almost sure bet is a larger screen – up from the current 3.3 inches to more than four inches – something that might keep customers from straying to a new Android handset, most of whose screens are between four and five inches diagonally. And expect the sixth-gen iPhone to be thinner as well.

After a likely Sept. 12 release-date announcement, Apple is expected to make the new iPhone available for sale on Sept. 21.

Some analysts have predicted that a smaller version of the iPad – something with a screen size between seven and eight inches – will be announced at the Sept. 12 event as well.

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