Updated: 02/08/12 : 07:47:14
The wait may nearly be over for Apple fans wanting the new iPhone, after rumours that the launch date has been set for September 12.
The new device, tentatively referred to as the iPhone 5, will then go on sale on September 21, according to information from "sources" at Apple.
The September 12 launch event is also expected to be used to announce the iPad mini, the new iPod nano and the final build of iOS 6, Apple's mobile operating system.
A series of photos on various tech sites, including iLab.cc, purport to show a fully assembled iPhone 5 body, made from components that have found their way into repair shops.
The photos match up with a lot of the rumours that have already been circulating about the new phone.
It appears to have a smaller dock connector - meaning the headphone jack can be relocated to the bottom of the device, a bigger screen, a centred FaceTime camera and a metallic rather than ceramic backing plate.
Apple fansite iLounge said the new iPhone would be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S, measuring around 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm.
This represents a 10mm increase in height, a nearly 2mm reduction in thickness and almost identical width.
According to iLounge, all this translates to an increase in screen size from 90mm (3.5") to 102mm (4") on the diagonal.
Because the new iPhone looks set to retain the same width as the current models, this appears to confirm that Apple will change the new iPhone's aspect ratio.
If so, it would be the first time the firm has done this since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007, achieved by adding additional pixels to the top and bottom of the screen.
Apple is also tipped to fabricate the screen from Gorilla Glass 2, which can either be made thinner while maintaining an identical strength to the existing screen, or the same thickness while making the glass tougher.
And 9to5Mac said Apple is testing a version of the new iPad's A5X processor intended for the iPhone 5, which is tipped to work alongside 1GB of RAM.
The International Business Times agreed that September 12 was the most likely day Apple would choose to launch its new products, although it said the event could take place in any of the seven days from September 9.
Laptopmag.com said the event could also see the launch of the iPad mini, which would have a screen size somewhere between 178mm (7") and 203mm (8").
In May, financial services company IDC said the iPad accounted for 68% of all tablet sales in the first quarter of the year, with Apple's rivals finding it hard to usurp the market leader.
But they have seen some success in the niche 178mm (7") market, with Android offerings such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 attracting considerable interest from consumers.
Apple has so far refused to confirm or deny the rumours.