Report Claims Apple Set to Start iPhone 5 preorders

Can you tell that we’re getting VERY close to the launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone? Regardless of which rumors you believe, there’s likely just a few short weeks until Cupertino takes the wraps off of the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 4S, or… iPhone ?) and ‘new’ reports surrounding the launch of the device are coming in almost daily.

Today, 9to5Mac posted that their sources are indicating that Apple is planning to start taking pre-orders for the next-generation iPhone handset starting on September 30, with a target launch date of October 7. This agrees with another report from TiPB a few days ago and falls in line with those who believe that Apple will be launching in late September to finish off the third quarter strongly. 9to5Mac suggests that Apple has been trying to decide between launch on October 7th or October 14th, but as things are going well for Apple in regards to production, the launch is currently set for the 7th. Now, since this is unofficial and just a rumor, this date could be the right one, could be pushed back, or could be entirely false. But for now, it looks like Apple plans to launch the next iPhone handset on this date.

If the pre-order date is accurate and Apple does intend to start allowing pre-orders on Friday, September 30th then it’s almost a certainty that they will hold some form of preview event in early September. Apple has traditionally held an event in September, but the focus of this event was generally around the iPod, iTunes, and music in general. With music-only devices starting to become less important to Apple, it’s certainly possible that Apple will use their September event to focus on the new iPhone. Apple has also pointed to a September release for the new version of its iOS mobile operating system, dubbed iOS 5, and with the updated iOS now in its fifth beta it’s likely to be released alongside the next iPhone.

The jury is still out as to what new devices we’ll see out of Apple this fall, with some analysts and media calling for a single new blockbuster handset and others suggesting Apple will release two new iPhones. The 9to5Mac report is in the latter camp, offering that Apple may release a new, more powerful handset than the current iPhone 4 and another less expensive handset that may be destined for prepaid markets. The updated iPhone will most likely gain the newer A5 dual-core processor (currently powering the iPad 2), an upgraded rear camera (likely 8 megapixels), and possibly a larger 4.0” display. If Apple does release a less-expensive prepaid handset, it will almost certainly be an underpowered iPhone 4 with some of the bells and whistles taken out.

As per the usual, there is no word out of Apple to confirm or deny today’s report or to suggest what’s going on with the next iPhone. If you’re desperately waiting for the iPhone 5, stay tuned as it appears that we’re just a couple of weeks away from hearing a firm date for Apple’s September event, where all will be revealed!