Apple Expected to Launch New iPods with iPhone 5 at 12 September Event
Apple recently sent out press and media invites for its 12 September launch event to be held at the Yerba Buena Centre for Arts in San Francisco

Apple recently sent out press and media invites for its 12 September launch event to be held at the Yerba Buena Centre for Arts in San Francisco. The event is scheduled to kick off at 10:00 am PST or 1 pm EST.

Speculation surrounding the cryptic reference made by Apple in its invite is gaining momentum, as it points to a number 5, which is seen in a shadow at the bottom of the invite. The top tag line on the invitation also drops a hint saying: "It's almost here."

Much to the joy of fans, Apple is poised to unveil the highly-anticipated next generation iPhone (iPhone 5) at the event alongside the announcement of the release date for iOS 6. The shadow on the invite seems to signify something of utmost significance connected to the number 5. And given the context of the hype built around the expected release of iPhone 5, it could well be referring to next-gen iPhone's moniker - iPhone 5.

According to iPhone Hacks citing a 9to5Mac report, Apple may also unveil new iPods alongside iPhone 5 at the 12 September media event. Though the changes to the upcoming iPod features look uncertain, Apple is poised to release two or three updated product lines.

While the forthcoming iPods are expected to arrive in multiple colours, one of them is speculated to ship in two storage variants and the other in a single storage variant. Based on this speculation, it sounds like the two product lines represent the iPod shuffle and the iPod nano, while likely ruling out iPod touch, which already comes in three storage variants. A nano version of the iPod touch with a larger rectangular display and a home button is also on the cards.

Referring to the details of the third-product line in question, 9to5Mac speculates as follows:

"We're not sure what the third line is (yet), but we speculate that it may have to do with a possibly upcoming Apple device in which case moldings have begun floating around for. We previously noted the emergence of evidence for a taller, small iPod form factor with a larger display and a home button."

"Many have referred to this purported design as the new iPod nano. But with Apple investing so many resources into the current iPod nano with its small, clip-able design, perhaps this taller, iOS device-like mini iPod design is a new iPod line altogether.

"Perhaps, like with the new MacBook Pro models, Apple will ship current-generation and next-generation iPod nano designs. Or, perhaps, this new design is named something else altogether. With the iPad mini incoming, perhaps an iPod mini would be nice to have around as well."

As iPhone Hacks notes, Apple has traditionally launched new iPod and iPod touches alongside every new iPhone in the past. A repeat of Apple's traditional-style launch cannot be ruled out with the most-anticipated unveiling of iPhone 5 just around the corner.