That October release date speculation for the iPhone 5 has just received a bit more corroboration, and this new rumor even gives us a specific date.
According to France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard, the iPhone 5 will launch on October 15th. France Telecom is the top telecommunications company in France and the third largest in all of Europe. Originally quoted on French Apple site Mac4Ever (translated), Richard said this:
If I believe what we heard, the iPhone 5 will be released on October 15th.
Of course, this statement doesn't clarify what Richard means by the phrase "what we've heard." He could mean that he has been told specifics about the release, or he could be referring to the multitude of rumors out there that point to an October release date. But most of those rumors point to a fairly generic "early-to-mid" October launch. Here, Richard gives the specific date of October 15th.
Funny thing is, October 15th falls on a Saturday this year. As MacRumors points out, Apple usually likes to launch new iPhones on Thursday or Friday. A Saturday launch would be unusual.
There's another rumor floating around today that also bolsters the October 15th (or at least mid-October) release speculations. Quoting "people familiar with the matter," AppleInsider says that Apple has informed their AppleCare division to prepare for a mass influx of queries about iOS starting Monday, October 10th. Could this mean that iOS 5 will be coming around that time?
And if iOS 5 were to release on or around October 10th, that might signify an impending iPhone 5 release. Apple has a history of releasing iOS updates just days before new devices. In 2009, they released iOS 3.0 a couple of days before they launched the iPhone 3GS. And in 2010, the iPhone 4 launched just 3 days after Apple unveiled iOS 4.
Earlier this week we reported on another iOS/iPhone 5 rumor that talked about the "golden master" version of the software possibly being distributed to assemblers on the week of September 30th. If this is true, once assemblers install the new OS onto the new iPhones, they should be ready to ship in a matter of days.