Apple plans to send the master build of iOS 5 to carriers for approval on September 23, evidence that the iPhone 5 is coming in October.
According to BGR, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company will request carriers approve iOS 5 by October 5. The Gold Master build of iOS 5 is Apple’s finished product, and will only undergo further retooling if carriers have problems running it on their networks.
Carrier approval is the final step before Apple can install the platform on the hundreds of thousands of reported iPhone 5 devices being manufactured by Foxconn.
The company would likely make the update available a few days later on iTunes if Apple receives final approval of iOS 5 on the date expected. AppleCare workers are being told to prepare for a large influx of iOS-related calls starting on Monday, October 10, which means iOS 5 could be available less than a week after approval.
The release of the iOS 5 update could be the most telling sign of an iPhone 5 launch. Apple has never released a major software upgrade to iOS more than three days apart from a new iPhone. In 2009, iOS 3 was followed by the 3GS just two days later, and in 2010 iOS 4 launched on June 21 with the iPhone 4 following it on June 24.
Although Apple never officially announced a new iPhone will arrive this year, the company did promise iOS 5 would be available this fall. Apple would have no reason to withhold iOS 5 any longer if the master build of the platform undergoes testing and is approved by carriers.
Analysts believe if Apple’s assemblers receive the master build of iOS 5 next week, the company will have the device ready to ship by mid-October.
The convergence of iOS 5 testing adds to growing evidence the iPhone 5 is coming in October. Apple has yet to officially announce anything, however, and the company’s exact plans in October are still a mystery.
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