iPhone 5 Launch Date: What to Expect Adam Mills09/04/2012 Apple finally announced the iPhone 5 launch date today with an invitation beckoning select press to an event set to take place on September 12th, the date that was rumored to be the iPhone 5’s launch date several times in the past. And now that we finally have a launch date set, it’s time to delve a little deeper into the date itself. After months of speculation, Apple has finally let the world know when it will be announcing and showing off its latest hardware, presumed to be the iPhone 5 and all but confirmed based on the invitation itself.Advertisement While the invitation possesses no hardware, its date of September 12th does cast a shadow that display’s the number ‘5’ which points to a release of the iPhone 5. Read: Apple Confirms iPhone 5 Event on September 12th. This could resemble the iPhone 5.Advertisement So at this point, consumers should expect Apple’s new smartphone to be unveiled on September 12th, a device that is said to have a number of new upgrades including a larger 4-inch screen, 4G LTE data speeds, a new front-facing camera, iOS 6, a metal back, a slimmer design, and more.Advertisement But what about the event itself? Well, now it’s time to take a look at what consumers should expect from the iPhone 5 event set for later this month on September 12th. iPhone 5 Launch Event: What to Expect Lots of Numbers Apple launch events have generally had a similar feel to them and we don’t expect anything different from this year’s iPhone 5 launch. Apple CEO Tim Cook will likely take the stage at the very beginning of the event and run of a series of sales numbers and milestones while taking thinly veiled shots at competitors like Android and Windows Phone. We fully expect to hear update figures in regards to the App Store, the new iPad which launched in March and quite possibly, the iPhone 4S which the iPhone 5 is replacing.Advertisement We should hear something about the new iPad. The iPhone 4S, according to an analyst, was finally beaten in sales for the first time since it was launched in October. The device that beat it? The Samsung Galaxy S III. So we expect Apple to somehow deflect that success and drive home the fact that the iPhone 4S, up until this point, was outselling other smartphones on the market. The iPhone 5… Of course, an iPhone 5 launch event couldn’t go down without the iPhone 5 itself and consumers should expect the phone to be the focal point of the show, much like the iPhone always is at its own events. Advertisement We expect to get a full rundown of the phone from its hardware to its software, all of which will give consumers a fantastic idea about what to expect from the device. So, expect Apple to lay out all of its cards iPhone 5-wise at the launch event.Advertisement …But Not the iPad Mini But don’t expect it to announce any hardware that might steal the spotlight away from the iPhone 5. Apple has, for a long while, been rumored to be announcing and releasing a 7.85-inch iPad Mini that would complete its mobile lineup. And while the company is still rumored to be releasing it, don’t expect it to launch side-by-side with the iPhone 5 on September 12th. Read: Exclusive: New iPad Mini Engineering Sample Photos. While nothing is confirmed, several knowledgeable people including John Gruber from Daring Fireball and Jim Darymple from The Loop speculate that Apple will not launch the iPad Mini in September. Instead, it will likely announce the device which is rumored to come with an inexpensive price tag and a design featuring thin bezels at its fall music event, possibly in October ahead of the holidays. iOS 6 Release Date Fortunately, we will see at least one other major Apple product made official and given a release date and that’s iOS 6, Apple’s new piece of mobile software. iOS 6 was first announced at WWDC 2012 in June and Apple will finally be showing off the final version of iOS 6 at the iPhone 5’s launch event in just a few days. Read: 40 iOS 6 Features You’ll Actually Care About. And while we know about a lot of the features coming with the software – new Maps app, Facebook integration, Do Not Disturb, and more – Apple may have some tricks up its sleeve. Last year, it was Siri for the iPhone 4S and this year, it could announce another feature specifically for the iPhone 5 though we have no idea what it might be. One thing we do know though is that Apple will give iOS 6 a release date at the event for devices not called the iPhone 5. iPhone 3GS and iPad 2 owners and up will know when to expect the software on September 12th. Lots of Software No content with just showing off iOS, Apple generally has a ton of software demos and updates baked into the event and we expect this event to be no different. Apple will likely allow some of its software partners to come up on stage and demo new software. And given that new iPhones generally have upgraded hardware, we should see software that takes advantage of the iPhone 5’s new hardware. Exactly what software we might see remains unknown but expect gaming at the very least. iPhone 5 Release Date Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, Apple likes to divulge of the details about its hardware products at its launch events. This includes the device’s release date. Read: iPhone 5 Release Date – What to Expect this Fall. Yes, interested parties should expect Apple to announce a specific release date for the iPhone 5, a date that has been rumored to be on September 21st. This is in line with prior Apple launches so look for this, or a date near it, to be announced on September 12th. Pre-Order Date Apple not only gives a release date for its hardware at its launch events, but it generally informs customers as to when they can purchase the products for the first time. The company will likely dish out a pre-order date for the iPhone 5 which will allow those interested in the new phone to purchase it ahead of the release date. In addition to Apple, individual carriers will likely be taking pre-orders as well. Just don’t expect their websites to be able to handle the load. Last year’s iPhone 4S launch saw several websites including AT&T’s buckle under the pressure on pre-order day. Carriers Consumers should also expect to see Apple announce iPhone 5 carriers at the event. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 event where U.S. carriers remained mum, and continue to do so, we will see iPhone 5 carriers in the U.S. revealed on September 12th. None have confirmed the device yet but AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are the prime suspects given that they have 4G LTE networks in place and carried the iPhone 4S over the last year. Surprises And lastly, expect a surprise or two. It may not be a big one, the iPad Mini for example, but it could be a hardware feature that Apple was able to keep concealed or a huge feature in iOS 6 that didn’t show up in any of the iOS 6 Betas. Apple does a fantastic job of keeping the true nature of its devices and software under wraps and for that reason, we should be treated to a feature or product that we didn’t see coming.