The new Apple iPhone is expected to be launched today, according to mobile industry sources.
American reports had pointed to a September 21 release for the new iPhone in the US but it was unclear whether international launches would be delayed.
Last week Apple invited journalists and industry observers to a special event in San Francisco. The invite showed a number 12, casting a shadow in the shape of a 5. The text on the invite said: "It's almost here."
Apple doesn't reveal details of forthcoming products before its special events but several rumours about the new device have already emerged. Pictures purporting to show parts of the new iPhone and even videos of the device in operation have been leaked online.
The new handset is expected to be thinner than the iPhone 4S and slightly taller, allowing for a taller screen. Reports suggest that the iPhone 5 will be faster than its predecessor, thanks in part to increased RAM, and that it will feature a smaller dock connector. The headphone socket will apparently move from the top of the phone to the bottom.
It's also likely that the new iPhone will have 4G mobile broadband capability and is considered likely to be compatible with EE's 4G network, which launches in parts of Britain in a few weeks. The third-generation iPad, which Apple announced earlier this year, had 4G capability but was not compatible with the 4G frequencies that will be used in Britain.
In addition to the new iPhone, Apple is likely to confirm the release of iOS 6, the latest version of its mobile operating system. Announced at the company's WWDC event in San Francisco in June, the new version of iOS introduces Apple's own maps - replacing the ones previously provided by Google, as well as a new app called Passbook, which collects virtual items such as gift cards and boarding passes into one app.
Other rumours about today’s event have suggested that Apple is planning to launch a smaller version of the iPad. However, recent reports speculate that the so-called mini-iPad will instead be announced at a separate event, possibly next month.
It's also possible that Apple will announce upgrades to its iPod range, which are traditionally refreshed in the run-up to Christmas.