iPhone 5 pre-order to start on 14 September?

UPDATE: Apple has confirmed that, as expected, the iPhone 5 will be available to pre-order on 14 September, and will start shipping on 21 September. Check out all the latest on the iPhone 5 unveiling.

The iPhone 5 will be launched in just a few hours, and you may be able to order one on Friday morning, just a few days away. Is your wallet ready for the new iPhone?

Apple is reportedly upping its staff to coincide with a Friday timing for the iPhone 5 pre-order. This is in-line with what happened last year at the iPhone 4S launch – the pre-order went live on the Friday following the unveiling rather than right after the event.

The Apple online sales support team will increase in numbers from 6:00AM EST on Friday, with the larger team to stay in the Apple nerve centre throughout the day to cope with the demand. This rumour comes from the usually-reliable MacRumors, presumably sourced from a tipster within the Apple ranks.

For the last few Apple product launches, we in the UK have enjoyed side-by-side availability with our friends in the US. There’s no reason why we won’t get the same treatment this time, so if you need to check your bank balance before buying the new iPhone, we advise doing so before this Friday.

The iPhone 5 launch event will take place this evening at 6pm. We’ll be on-hand with all the latest news, so stick around if you’re interested in what Apple has in store.

We’re likely to see new iPod models as well as the iPhone 5, and the refreshed iPod touch is likely to use the same 9-pin socket that is to be introduced with the new iPhone. Other new iPhone 5 features we’d bet a few quid on include a larger screen, an improved camera and a reworked design. Apple has reportedly gotten rid of the glass back of the iPhone 4S, and replaced it with a metal rear – which won’t shatter.

The iPhone 5 is unlikely to be any cheaper than the current iPhone 4S. Set aside at least £500 if you’re after a SIM-free handset, or at least £35 a month for a contract if you can’t stomach such an outlay.

Check out more iPhone news in our round-up.

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