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Sunday, September 25, 2011, 06:52 am PT (09:52 am ET)

Apple may hold iPhone 5 event in smaller venue on Cupertino campus

Apple will reportedly use a more intimate setting on its Cupertino campus to reveal its next-generation smartphones to members of the media early next month, forgoing its historical practice of utilizing large exhibition halls in downtown San Francisco.

That's according to sources close to the company speaking to the Wall Street Journal's All Things D blog — the same publication who claimed earlier this month that Apple would hold the event on Tuesday October 4th.

That said, it's not clear why Apple has chosen not to continue its tradition of renting out large venues like San Francisco's Moscone Center or Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). The rumored Oct. 4th date does conflict with Oracle's OpenWorld conference, which is being held at the Moscone Center and surrounding hotels from the 2nd to the 6th of October.

"Perhaps the release date was too much of a moving target to risk booking a large space like [YBCA], which has hosted a number of big product unveils in the past," said All Things D's John Paczkowski.

"Perhaps, the company felt a more intimate venue was best for newly installed CEO Tim Cook’s first media event," he continued. "Perhaps YBCA was simply already booked. Whatever the reason, the world will get its first look at the next iPhone at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium in early October."

Unlike the YBCA and Moscone Center, which can accommodate thousands of guests, the Apple Town Hall Auditorium is only fitted to house roughly a couple hundred. As such, space for the event and the number of journalists permitted to attend is expected to be extremely limited.

Apple Town Hall Auditorium


Despite its smaller size, however, the venue has hosted a number of landmark events for Apple over the past 5 years, serving as launch pad for the company's iPhone developer program and first unibody MacBook Pros in 2008, iPhone Software 3.0 in 2009, and the redesigned MacBook Airs and iPhone 4 "Antennagate" press conference in 2010.

It was also used in 2006 for the introduction of new Mac minis and the now defunct iPod Hi-Fi, as well as again in 2007 for new iMacs.

As AppleInsider reported on Saturday, the new fifth-generation iPhone software and hardware unveiled during the October 4th event is likely to hit the market the following week, possibly Monday the 10th and Friday the 14th, respectively.