iPhone 5 shipping on October 7: report

The iPhone 5 will hit store shelves in early October, according to two new reports.

The iPhone 5 will ship on Oct. 7, according to a pair of new reports. Here, a user holds the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 5 is confirmed for launch, and should hit shelves in the States on the first Friday in October – so say the folks at 9 to 5 Mac, who have published a lengthy report on the new iPhone, currently rumored to be moving into the pre-production stages. Oct. 7, of course, puts Apple a bit behind its yearly iPhone refresh schedule, but Mark Gurman of 9 to 5 thinks Apple will open pre-orders as soon as Sept. 29 or 30.

So is the 9 to 5 report the real deal? Hard to say. But it is worth noting that TiPb – self-styled as the "#1 iPhone blog" – published a similar report late last week. "Originally it sounded more like a second week of October launch, more like Oct. 14, but now it sounds like the first week," Rene Ritchie of TiPb wrote at the time. Both 9 to 5 Mac and TiPb are hedging on the exact shape of the iPhone 5, which could look like the iPhone 4, or could look very different.

Equally vague is the nature of the technology that will power the new Apple smartphone. The tech site Boy Genius Report has asserted that Apple is in the process of testing 4G LTE technology on its phones, which would mean the iPhone line would eventually work with the next-generation Verizon and AT&T 4G networks. But as BGR is quick to report, there is no indication that the LTE tech is being prepped for this year's iPhone.

In other words, Apple could be prepping the LTE tech for the iPhone 6, or iPhone 7, etc. Bottom line: An iPhone 5 is on the way. It will almost certainly arrive sometime this fall. But other than that, what Apple is planning to do with its top-selling device is anyone's guess. Including yours. Got some thoughts? Drop us a line in the comments section.

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