Apple has taken its online store down hours before the firm is due to launch its iPhone 5.

The online Apple Store is unavailable with a message stating: "We'll be back. We're busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon". As usual this means new products are on their way and Apple is set to reveal the iPhone 5 later today.

See also: iPhone 5 review.

Apple Store down iPhone 5

It does leave the question as to whether the iPhone 5 will be available to pre-order today or not, though. We heard earlier that Apple will allow pre-orders on Friday rather than straight after today's launch event. See also: iPhone 5 launch: everything you need to know.

It is also possible that the Cupertino-based company will launch new iPod models alongside the iPhone 5. Previous rumours suggestion a smaller iPad, or iPad Mini, would be revealed but the latest is that this will be announced in October.

Many details have been leaked about the iPhone 5 ahead of today's launch. The most prominent rumours are a larger screen, smaller docking connector and 4G connectivity. Apple is also expected to announce the release details for its iOS 6 operating system which will come pre-loaded on the iPhone 5.

It's only a matter of hours before we find out for sure the details from Apple so be sure to join us for the launch later today.

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