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Colorful banners for Sep 12 Phone 5 Apple Event now going up

Apple has begun wrapping the entrance to the Yerba Buena Center with colorful banners in preparation for its iPhone 5 introduction, suggesting that new multicolored iPods will be part of the event.

The new banners (still being installed, below) evoke the paint-splashed imagery the company used to launch new iPods in previous years at its fall Apple Events, formerly dedicated to its music products through 2010.

Last year, however, Apple delayed the iPhone 4S release to the fall rather than its customary summer introduction date that all initial iPhone releases had through iPhone 4, the last new smartphone to debut at Apple's June Worldwide Developer Conference.

The blockbuster release of the iPhone 4S, alongside iOS 5 and iCloud, last October overshadowed new iPod introductions, which were limited to more affordable pricing, a white edition of the iPod touch, and new features inherited through iOS 5, including iMessage, WiFi sync, Game Center and Notifications.

Apple included the new iPods as a footnote at the iPhone 4S event, as the company's smartphone business has greatly overwhelmed its music player business, which itself had once been Apple's most important market segment after overtaking Mac sales.

The fall release of iPhone 4S helped Apple to dominate the important holiday shopping season and demolished previous launch records for the iPhone.

This year, Apple appears set to replicate last year, with a focus on the new iPhone 5, iOS 6 and new iCloud features and a secondary mention of new iPods that are once again expected to be made available in a range of colors. However, the company has also planned a second fall Apple Event that is expected to introduce a smaller new "iPad mini" tablet.

Inside the event venue, which is scheduled to begin at 10am Pacific Time on September 12, Apple has also installed a corporate logo, still visible through the front windows (as shown top above) but more readily discernible from within the building (above).

Additional progress on the building wrap revealed that the colorful stripes appear to be curtains, with a white Apple logo centered in front of them.