NEW YORK (
) -- As all eyes and ears turn to
and its long-awaited iPhone 5 launch, rumors suggest the phone will be available for pre-order later this week.
that Apple may not start pre-orders for the next generation smartphone directly after Wednesday's media event as it has done occasionally in the past, but rather wait until Sept. 14, this Friday.
Last year, Apple announced the iPhone 4S was available for pre-order at 12:01 a.m. PST on the Friday following the announcement.
Apple is reportedly adding sales staff to its retail stores beginning at 6 a.m. EST on Friday, perhaps to aid in customer inquiries trying to pre-order the device.
It's expected that the iPhone will have a 4-inch screen, slightly larger than previous iPhones, which had a 3.5-inch screen. The phone is also expected to run on Long Term Evolution (LTE), or 4G high-speed networks from
plans to live-blog tomorrow's launch event, which is taking place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.
Shares of Apple are higher in mid-Tuesday trading, up 0.13% to $663.60.
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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York