Adding heavy weight to the rumors that Apple plans to release more than one new iPhone model this year, former Vice President Al Gore, a member of Apple’s board of directors, said today that Apple has “new iPhones” due for an October release, reports The Next Web. Gore’s statement, which confirms long-standing rumors of multiple iPhone models set to come out this year, was made today during the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit (DILS) in South Africa.

According to the editor of Stuff Magazine in South Africa, Toby Shapshak, who’s attending the conference, Gore said to the crowd at DILS, “Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month. That was a plug.”

Since the iPhone rumor season began this year, there has been a good deal of confusion around whether Apple planned to launch one iPhone or two. Back in February, Bloomberg reported that Apple had both a high-end device and a lower-end handset due to launch this year. The lower-end iPhone version would serve as Apple’s “budget” offering, and compete with the variety of inexpensive Android devices that are so readily available. According to the report, the device will sell for just $200 without a contract. The Bloomberg report was soon backed up by the Wall Street Journal, which reported similar details.

This lower-end device, which has come to be known as the “iPhone 4S” or, more recently, the “iPhone 4 plus”, is said to look nearly identical to the iPhone 4, with a few upgraded internal components, including the possibility of an A5 processor.

The iPhone 5, on the other hand, will serve as Apple’s high-end offering. That device will likely be a dual-mode “world phone,” which works on either GSM or CDMA networks. It is also said to have a faster processor, possibly a dual-core A5, as well as an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, up from the iPhone 4′s 5MP camera. Evidence shows that the screen of the iPhone 5 will be significantly larger than previous models, possibly up to 4 inches, and extend from edge to edge.

Just this morning, we reported that the iPhone 5 would arrive on October 4. While there has been some disagreement over whether Apple would release both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 at the same time (if both devices existed at all), Al Gore’s statement seems to confirm that they will.

Gore’s statement serves as the first time anyone directly associated with Apple — especially someone on its board — has made any definitive statement about the existence of next-generation iPhones. Considering how many people don’t trust Gore’s claims about global warming, however, we’re sure there will many who doubt this prediction, too.