SAN FRANCISCO—Apple on Tuesday invited members of the media to a September 12 event in San Francisco for what is expected to be the debut of a new-generation iPhone.
Email invitations bore the cryptic message, “It’s almost here,” and a large number “12? casting a shadow that appeared to be the number five, suggesting that the event would spotlight the long-anticipated iPhone 5.
Leaks and rumors portray the new iPhone as having a larger touch-screen than its predecessor and that it will be available by the end of the month.
Demand for what is being referred to as “iPhone 5? is likely to be hot, with analysts convinced that many people in the market for handsets have put off purchases to wait for the latest offering from Apple.
“While our checks indicated consumers are delaying iPhone 4S purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 5, we anticipate an LTE iPhone 5 with a new hardware form factor will result in record iPhone sales,” Canaccord Genuity brokerage firm said in a note to investors.
Apple shares rose to $674.18 then shed a few cents to $674 in trading that followed word of the event invitations.
Samsung mobile phones remained the most popular in the United States with 25.6 percent of the market but third-place Apple gained ground to claim 16.3 percent as of the end of July, according to industry tracker comScore.
LG ranked second with 18.4 percent of the US mobile phone market.
Smartphones powered by Google’s Android software continued to dominate with 52.2 percent of the US market but Apple’s iOS was the second most popular smartphone platform with 33.4 percent, comScore reported.
Apple is expected to host a separate media event in October to unveil a new, smaller version of its wildly popular iPad.
The 10-inch iPad has long dominated the tablet market, but faces a growing challenge from smaller models like Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy.
Apple is expected to launch the miniature iPad later this year, with analysts saying it could allow the company to again best its global rivals despite the death last year of visionary founder Steve Jobs.