It's pretty clear now that the iPhone 5 will be unveiled on September 12. Apple has sent out official invitations to an event for that date, with a not-so mysterious "5" in the graphic. As far as the name "iPhone 5" goes, either that's what it's going to be called, or Apple is just messing with everybody. Either way, the event is coming.
The actual release date of the device, however, will be a little bit further away, but it does appear that it will be on September 21 (not that much further away). Last month, TechCrunch reported, citing a "trusted Verizon employee" as its source, that Verizon is having an all-staff vacation blackout from that date through the 30th, and that the 21st will indeed be the launch date.
Further confirmation seems to have made its way into the press, as GottaBeMobile is now reporting, citing "a trusted source familiar with Apple's iPhone shipping plans" with confirming that date, a Friday, as the release date. Josh Smith reports:
Our source tells GottaBeMobile that Apple notified shippers to expect mass shipments of the iPhone 5 on September 21st and shippers are taking steps to make sure enough staff are on hand for the large number of deliveries.
Consumers may receive iPhone 5 shipment notifications early, but shippers are required to hold the iPhone 5 for delivery on the official iPhone 5 release date.
Apple is no doubt going to have an incredible quarter, as consumers rush to buy up the new device. It's almost a given, based on the incredibly consumer interest we've seen leading up to the unveiling.
Last month, the Samsung Galaxy S III topped the iPhone 4S as the top-selling smartphone in the U.S., but Apple will undoubtedly regain the lead once this thing is available. Then the rumored iPad mini will likely follow, and generate yet another significant source of revenue for Apple. It seems that consumers really want that too.