Posted by Renee Schmidt

After over a year of speculation, the long awaited iPhone 5 release is a mere week away. Apple has a way of keeping its cards close, especially when it comes to new releases, so Apple’s invite to next week’s media event is no exclusion. Just take a look at the above invitation, which was sent citing no reason for the invite. The only clue? A not so subtle 5 in the shadow of the event invite.

SheBytes began reporting on the much anticipated iPhone 5 release all the way back in June of 2011 (just check out these iPhone 5 mockups).  Back then, the iPhone 5 rumor mill had been sadly dissapointed by Apple’s release of the iPhone 4S. Now, a year later, we are finally ready for the iPhone 5 release!  And if the media invite above is any indication, it will most definitely be an iPhone 5 that is announced. 

So what can we expect in the new device? Quite a bit! There are some design changes. Rumor has it the iPhone 5 will be thinner than the iPhone 4, but longer. Approximate measurements are 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm—about 10mm more in height, less 2mm in thickness, with the same width. It is also likely to feature a smaller dock connector, a relocated earphone jack (moved down to the bottom corner) and a new space between the camera lens and the LED flash (perhaps relocating the second microphone for better video/audio capture). This design reflects a “unibody enclosure;” nothing new to Apple designs (recall the Apple 2008 unibody notebooks). And even the speaker grills are redesigned (and they look pretty edgy!).

In terms of functionality, the iPhone 5 will likely run on iOS 6, which should be loaded with enhancements to Siri as well as Facebook integration. Will the iPhone 5 have NFC? At this point, that’s anyones guess. I’m just hoping for 4G LTE on the device!

In any event, get your cash ready; if the iPhone 5 release goes as well as any of the previous iPhone releases, we’ll be forking over our money to Apple very soon (myself included). The device is likely to go on sale nine days after its announcement, on September 21.