The rumour mill about Apple’s new products is spinning at warp speed ahead of the company’s launch event next Wednesday, where Apple is widely expected to launch a new version of the iPhone.

Apple website 9to5Mac.com reported on Friday that the iPhone 5 would be offered to US users at the same price as corresponding versions of the iPhone 4S, namely 199 dollars for the 16 GB version, 299 dollars for the 32 GB version, and 399 dollars for the 64 GB version, all with the signing of a new two year contract with cellphone carriers.

The New York Times reported meanwhile that Apple is negotiating with music firms for licenses that would allow it to launch a competitor to popular streaming music services such as Pandora.com and Last.fm. The report said that negotiations were still in their early stages and that an announcement at Wednesday’s event was unlikely.

The new iPhone is likely to have a larger screen than its predecessor - 4 inches rather than the 3.5-inch screen that has graced all iPhones since the phone was launched in 2007. The phone itself will be slightly taller and thinner than previous versions, according to widespread reports.

As for sales figures, the new device will be a huge hit, analysts predict. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted sales of between 6 million units and 10 million units in the first week that the iPhone is available. Overall, the analyst predicts total iPhone sales of at least 26 million units for the quarter in which it goes on sale. Other reports cite September 21 as the date the phone will go on sale.

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