Flurry of hints suggest Apple’s iPhone 5 will arrive in October

A new batch of evidence suggests the release of Apple’s iPhone 5 is quickly approaching.

The first comes via This Is My Next, who received a screenshot from an anonymous Best Buy employee that the big box electronics retailer plans to install an “Apple fixture” on the morning of Friday, October 21.

This is not just any new store fixture, the tipster says. According to the internal Best Buy memo, the manager must be at the store at 6am to oversee the installation — an hour earlier than they ever require for other fixture installations.

OK, so that doesn’t exactly equate to irrefutable evidence that the next iPhone will arrive around that date. But seeing as it’s already September now, the mid-October timeline for iPhone 5’s release is looking increasingly likely. That, along with a special new fixture installation at one of Apple’s biggest retail partners, and we have good reason to at least pencil in Oct. 21 as a date of interest.

Adding to the release date speculation is another internal Best Buy document, leaked to BRG, which says that “pre-sales” of iPhone 5 — including a Sprint iPhone 5 — will start “October week 1.” According to BRG‘s source, the pre-sale designation could either mean that Best Buy will start taking pre-orders during the first week of October, or that actual pre-sales will start taking place.

Next, we have a tip given to 9to5Mac, which shows that Apple has begun to train retail store employees about iCloud and iOS 5. In general, Apple releases its new version of iOS around the same time as its next-generation iPhone. So, the thinking goes, if Apple is training employees on iOS 5, then iPhone 5 is right around the corner. In fact, as 9to5Mac‘s Mark Gurman notes, if Apple really has started iCloud/iOS 5 training already, it “could mean a launch sooner than the recently rumored dates of mid-to-late October.”

Lastly, we have news from Bloomberg that German wireless giant Deutsche Telekom has already begun taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5, even though the company has no (public) knowledge of what the handset will be. Customers who “expressly request the successor model to the iPhone 4” will be given a coupon for the upcoming — but still unconfirmed — device.

To sum up: We have a variety of unconfirmed “leaks,” which contain vague and slightly conflicting information. That means none of this serves as a smoking gun for the next iPhone. Still, the details all point to essentially the same thing: the imminent release of Apple’s iPhone 5, which appears to be set for October.

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