October has been slated for the release of the highly anticipated iPhone 5, and reports indicate that Apple stores in the U.S. and U.K. have begun denying vacation requests for employees during the second week of October.
Apple Insider, reports that Apple has blacked out dates for employee vacation time between October 9 and 12 and between October 14 and 15. The source suggests that these black-out dates are in conjunction with the release of the latest generation of iPhone and Apple OS.
Speculation indicates that the first set of black-out dates may be set aside for the release of iOS 5, Apple's newest operating system, while the second set of black-out dates may be set aside for the release of the iPhone 5.
An Apple press conference is reportedly scheduled for October 4 at Apple's Campus in Cupertino, California where the iPhone 5 and iOS 5 are expected to be unveiled.
There are also reportedly two "Developer Teatimes," events hosted by Twitter scheduled for October 10 and 12.
Referencing previous launch dates, sources project that in accordance with the unveiling event and the black-out dates, the iPhone 5 should be released on Friday, October 14.
When Apple released iOS 4.0 on June 21, 2010 the iPhone 4 debuted just three days later on June 24. When the company released iOS 3.0 on June 17, 2009, the iPhone 3GS debuted four days later on June 21.
Many point out the significantly later date of the current launch, four months later than Apple usually launches its iPhones, may be a sign that operations are not running smoothly.
There is no guarantee that the iPhone 5 will be released in October. Some rumors indicate that production delays could hold the iPhone 5 back as late as 2012.
Most of what is being reported about the iPhone 5 is still rumor. However, most sources note that the evidence that has been collected thus far indicates that an October release is highly likely.