Apple iPhone 5 event scheduled for Sept. 12

Apple's latest crop is getting ripe.

Apple on Tuesday sent out invitations to its latest event, where the company is widely expected to release the next generation of its flagship smartphone.

The event, planned for 10:00 a.m. PST on Wed., Sept. 12, will be held in the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, the long-time favorite location for the company to unveil its newest gear. While rumors have swirled around the device for months, the secretive company has yet to release any information about it.

Nevertheless, expectations are firmly set for the device, widely dubbed the iPhone 5. said a larger screen for this new model is “almost a certainty,” most likely a 4-inch LCD. Smartphones from Samsung such as the Galaxy S line have received high marks for their giant, high quality screens, making the smaller, 3.5-inch on the current line of phones seem dim and dull in comparison.

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Still, others worry that a larger screen may make the elegant device ungainly. An extra half-inch will mean far more thumb traveling for frequent texters, for example.

While screens will likely grow, other parts of the iPhone are expected to shrink. Apple has been widely anticipated to reduce the size of the dock connector on the next iPad and iPhone, leading to concern that current iPhone accessories designed for the larger dock connector will be outdated and unusable.

The company is likely to release an adapter, of course; current speakers, docks and other accessories are virtually certain to be made compatible in some fashion. But tech sites agree that the new connector is likely to appear -- and with it a new crop of accessories.

Finally, don't hold your breath for an iPad to join the iPhone.

The company has been widely rumored to be working on a smaller version of the iPad as well, dubbed an “iPad Mini” in the press. This device -- again, unmentioned by Apple -- is expected to be released in October at a separate event.