Things are in motion and have been for some time, says one analyst. The new iPhone will be receiving its final modifications in late September-early October and will hit the shelves in mid-October.
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, both the new iPhone and the new iPod touch have been in production since late August. These assemblers are just waiting on the "golden master" of iOS 5, Apple's brand new operating system.
Once they have the iOS 5, the assemblers can install it on the already-made devices and ready it for the shipping process.
Kuo told AppleInsider that the "golden master" version of iOS 5 will release to the assemblers on the week of September 30th. This points to a mid-October release date for the final product. This information backs up various other rumors that point to an October release for the much-anticipated device. The latest release date rumor came yesterday when an internal memo from Sprint leaked, showing that employers will be black out Sept. 30th - Oct. 15th for a "major phone launch."
As far as iOS 5 goes, a rumor from last week said that Apple was in the process of training their Apple Store employees on iOS 5 and iCloud. Apple Stores oftentimes begin new software training a few weeks before a big product launch.
Kuo also spoke to MacRumors and had some more to say regarding to specs of the upcoming iPhone. He brings back the notion that the iPhone 5 might not really be an iPhone 5 after all - more like an iPhone 4S will just a few simple tweaks from the iPhone 4.
He says that it will contain the rumored A5 chip currently found in the iPad 2, which offers 512 MB RAM.
Plenty of other rumors have hinted that the new iPhone could have a thinner frame and a tapered design - and possibly launch with a bigger screen. Kuo says that the new device will actually sport a 3.5 inch screen, which is the same as the iPhone 4.
Of course, rumors are rumors. But this release date timeline coincides with almost everything else we've heard in the last few weeks.