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Apple iPhone 5 to ship in September, reports Reuters

iPhone 5Apple will ship the iPhone 5 in September, according to multiple sources in Apple’s supply chain who spoke with Reuters. The three anonymous sources also say that Apple has loaded the next-generation iPhone with a faster processor.

According to Reuters’ sources, production of the iPhone 5 will begin in either July or August — not September, as was previously speculated. They also say that the newest iPhone will have a similar look and feel to the iPhone 4, which is in line with many other rumors about the device.

The fact that the latest iPhone 5 news comes via Apple’s supply chain suggests that the companies that make the smartphone’s components have been given a production schedule from Apple to determine when to slow down production of the iPhone 4 to make room for the newest model’s parts.

Earlier this month, talk from Apple’s supply chain (much of which is located in Taiwan) indicated that Apple had not yet told its parts suppliers any production plan for the next iPhone, which added further support to claims that the phone would have a later-than-normal release.

This report corroborates earlier rumors of a September launch for the iPhone 5, which would line up more with Apple’s iPod release schedule. It also discredits talk of that the iPhone 5 wouldn’t arrive until October, or even early 2012.

Since the 2008 launch of the iPhone 3G, Apple has announced its next-generation smartphone at the World Wide Developers Conference, which is held in June. So for the iPhone 5 to not launch during its traditional event is a big deal for tech junkies. This year’s WWDC will instead focus on software, like OS X 10.7 Lion and iOS 5.

In addition to a faster processor — likely the A5 CPU that powers the iPad 2 — and a similar design to the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5 is also said to have a slightly larger screen than past iPhones, as well as a higher-resolution 8 megapixel camera.

Various reports have indicated that the device will include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows users to make payments with their cell phone as they would a credit card. Word on this is too varied to make any type of solid speculation — so it would be prudent to guess that Apple will not include NFC until later models, if at all.

While a report from a well-established news institution like Reuters makes it easier to believe the iPhone 5 release timeframe, this news is still hearsay, as Apple has not yet confirmed a word of it. So keep your grains of salt handy until Cupertino gives its stamp of approval.