The iPhone 5 could go on sale on Friday, October 7, with preorders to start on September 30, according to the latest rumors in the ongoing saga of the hotly anticipated next edition of Apple's smartphone.
Citing intel from its own sources, 9To5Mac said yesterday that Apple had been eyeing either October 7 or October 14 as potential iPhone 5 launch dates. But with preproduction apparently running smoothly, the site says, Apple has opted for the earlier date.
Apple will reportedly offer the phone for preorder a week before it hits store shelves, looking at either September 29 or 30, though 9To5Mac's sources pin the 30th as the most likely date. Assuming the preorder date is accurate, at least for now, that also means Apple would have to hold its iPhone 5 unveiling sometime in September. Apple typically shows off new iPhones and iPads at high-visibility media gatherings some days or weeks ahead of the devices going on sale.
The October 7 date has also been floated by TiPb. However, the tech news site suggests taking the reports with a grain of salt since even if the date is on the money at this point, Apple's plans are fluid. Even 9To5Mac admits that "the date could and likely will change again."
But October itself has been strongly suggested as the launch month for the iPhone 5 by All Things D's Kara Swisher, pointing to information from her own sources.
iPhone 5 rumor roundup
September iPhone 5? October iPhone 5? Why it doesn't matter
Apple store reportedly getting a 4G LTE hookup
TiPb isn't quite sure the new phone will be an iPhone 5. The site said it keeps hearing that the device will be an iPhone 4S with some improvements but the same design as the existing phone, a rumor that's been around for awhile.
Other reports say that Apple will launch two phones--the new and improved iPhone 5 and a more budget-friendly iPhone 4S, one that may even tap into the company's iCloud service to provide cloud-based storage. TiPb says that the debut of two new phones from Apple could explain the conflicting rumors that it's heard.
And yet other reports have put a potential iPhone launch date as early as September 7.
Adding further tidbits to the iPhone 5 saga, Macpost has published images purporting to be of replacement parts for the new phone. Replacement parts such as a camera lens and an audio jack have recently popped up online among different Chinese resellers, according to the site, and show some subtle differences from parts for the iPhone 4.
Finally, global carrier Telefonica will reportedly start cutting back on its stock of the iPhone 4 through September 12. Revealing the news, Engadget cited a source who said that such a move "will of course prepare us for the launch of a new smartphone." The source didn't offer up a specific date when the new phone will debut, though Engadget said it's heard that the launch will occur in October.
CNET's iPhone 5 rumor roundup offers a peek at all the latest rumors about Apple's upcoming new phone.