Apple news and rumor site iMore is reporting that the date has been set—Apple will be unveiling the next iPhone and possibly a 7″ iPad Mini on September 12th. This date is somewhat ahead of last year’s October 4th iPhone 4S announcement, indicating that Apple may have worked quicker this year than they did previously to ready the next iPhone.
Japanese repair shop iLab came in with a huge exclusive over the weekend, showing off the first images of a fully assembled iPhone 5 (or as Apple will likely call it, “the new iPhone”). Based on the reports we’ve heard from around the Internet, we can only assume that this is the new form factor. Notable features include a taller, 4″ screen and a new, smaller dock connector.
As for the other big rumor, a 7.85″ iPad Mini seems likely to be released on September 12th as well. With the wild success of Google’s Nexus 7″ tablet (the 16GB model is completely sold out right now) it seems very likely that we’ll finally see a smaller, cheaper and more affordable iPad, possibly in the $250-300 range. While I’d be shocked if it’s as cheap as the Nexus (which starts at a possibly-price-subsidized-by-Google low, low $200), a cheaper and smaller iPad would definitely be the deciding factor that gets a lot of people into the tablet game. And while the Nexus 7 might be impressive, nobody’s counting Apple out. After all, with more than 250,000 apps specifically designed for the tablet, Apple’s iPad has a huge leg up on the competition. Still, Apple does have competition in the 7″ tablet space and if any company is ready to make a dent in Apple’s dominance on tablets, Google seems ready to make that move.