Rumors, rumors, rumors. An influx of unverifiable and anonymous info is suggesting that the next iPhone should hit shelves roughly in the first or second week of October, barring any disasters with production that may or may not be happening right now.
That also means that the next version of Apple’s mobile platform, iOS 5, will be making the rounds to device owners, be they lining up for the iPhone 5, or sticking with a still-working iPhone 3GS. And an anonymous (though unverified) source talking with Apple Insider suggests the release date for the new operating system to be in the vicinity of Oct. 10.
The evidence for that suggests that date is apparently coming from AppleCare, Apple’s device and software support service. Reportedly, Apple has advised its AppleCare representatives to be ready for an influx of iOS-related questions and problems around Oct. 10, which suggests that might be the date that the new operating system is going to be available for download.
This is something of a reason to get excited for Apple fans, given that iOS 5 is another big leap forward for the mobile platform. Apple has worked in a lot of new features, including Twitter integration, iTunes in the Cloud, cloud backups and wireless device syncing, all of which it announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference back in March.
The timing from Apple Insider’s tipster, with an early October launch for iOS 5 and iCloud, seems to match up with earlier reports (like this one from Ars Technica) that the iOS 5 golden master – the completed version of the program – will be ready at the end of September. When that happens, Apple will ship the software off to its device assemblers in Asia, Foxconn and Pegatron, to be slapped onto the supposedly set-to-release new iPhone. That’s expected to take place sometime between Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, with the release of the new handset to follow.
For developers, iOS 5 has already gone through seven different beta releases, and in fact, Apple warned in its latest developer blog that anyone using the beta version of iCloud to back up their devices should do so elsewhere as well. Those iCloud backups will be wiped before release, Apple says, and mentioning a week or two ahead of the golden master’s reported release date makes a lot of sense.
Back in June, Apple only gave “fall 2011” for iOS 5’s release schedule, and although developers have been able to mess with iOS 5 for some time, from all accounts the beta has been pretty rough in some areas. Hopefully with seven different iterations through which to hone the software, Apple has iOS 5 pretty much in the can by now and ready to go within the next couple of weeks. It’ll be a substantial change to all the iOS devices on the market, from what Steve Jobs told us this summer.