As the date of Apple's expected launch of the latest version of its popular iPhone nears, the usual rumours and leaked photos of what the new device will look like are emerging online.

Technology watchers are speculating that Apple will launch the iPhone 5 on Sept. 12 and a new, smaller version of its iPad tablet device in October.

Photos claiming to be of the new iPhone 5 were posted on the Chinese technology website Digi.it.sohu.com and reposted on the French website Nowhereelse.fr on Friday.

The websites reported that the photos came from a Chinese online forum called iColorOS, which leaked images of alleged iPhone 5 parts earlier this month.

The latest photos show a longer, narrower iPhone with a larger screen than exisiting models. 

The authenticity of the photos has not been confirmed, and they could be nothing more than a prankster's Photoshop vision of the new device, but they do contain some of the same elements that have appeared in other supposed sneak peaks at the new iPhone.

Other sites and media outlets had previously published photos of alleged iPhone 5 parts that also showed a longer, sleeker body, as well as a smaller dock connector with fewer than the current 30 pins, which would require an adapter in order to connect existing cables and iPhone accessories.

The dock connector is thought to have been made smaller in the new version in order to make room for the earphone jack that is expected have been moved from the top of the phone to the bottom in the new device.

The last version of the iPhone, the iPhone 4S, came out in October 2011.

iPad mini expected to be smaller, cheaper

Technology analysts seemed to give credence to rumours that Apple would soon also bring out an "iPad mini," which would be smaller than the current 10-inch version and be priced  to compete with cheaper tablets like Google's Nexus 7 or Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

Speculation is that the new iPad will be seven inches wide like competing tablets and cost between $200 and $300, compared to $519, the current price of the latest version of a 16 GB iPad in Canada.

Some had thought the company wouldn't pursue a smaller tablet because late Apple CEO Steve Jobs had rejected the idea in 2010, calling a seven-inch iPad "useless" unless it came with sandpaper so users could sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size.

However, more recent media reports that surfaced during Apple's patent trial against Samsung in California suggest that Jobs had revised his opinion and saw a market for seven-inch tablets.

According to U.S. sales figures released in documents filed in Northern District of California court during the patent trial, Apple has sold 85 million iPhones in the U.S. since the device came on the market in 2007 and generated more than $50 billion US in revenue from U.S. sales.

It has sold 34 million iPads in the U.S. between 2010 and the second quarter of 2012, generating revenue of $19 billion.