iPhone 5 set for late Sept. launch: report

The iPhone 5 is coming at the end of September, according to one blog. Meanwhile, a range of purported photos of the next Apple smartphone have cropped up on Chinese and Japanese tech sites. 

An Apple store in Spain. According to a new report, the Apple iPhone 5 will hit on Sept. 21.

The iPhone 5 will hit shelves in the US on Sept. 21, roughly 11 months after the release of the iPhone 4S

So says the tech site iMore, which reports today that Apple will officially unveil the iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, and roll out the device nationwide nine days later. iMore attributes the dates only to "sources who have proven accurate in the past," and the famously secretive Apple has neither confirmed nor acknowledged the rumors. Still, the timing lines up – Apple typically refreshes its products on a yearly basis. 

Apple needs a hit with its next smartphone. The Cupertino company recently divulged that it had sold 26 million iPhones in the second quarter of 2012, an enviable showing, but less than the 29 million predicted by many analysts. Meanwhile, Samsung is besting Apple in the global race. According to a report from IDC, Samsung shipped 50 million smartphones last quarter, good enough for 32.6 of the worldwide market. (Apple holds just under 17 percent.)

But what will the next iPhone look like? Well, smart money is on a rejiggered chassis and display. After all, the current design, having been used on both the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, is getting a little stale. A crop of recent photos posted on the Chinese site iLab and the Japanese site Macotakara show an iPhone with a taller, 4-inch screen and a slim, boxy body – both iLab and Macotakara claim this is the iPhone 5. 

If the site are correct, the iPhone 5 wouldn't be getting a radical overhaul – yes, the screen would be larger, but the iPhone would retain its flat, rectangular shape. Are people looking for more?

For more on how technology intersects daily life, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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