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Sunday, September 04, 2011, 03:32 pm PT (06:32 pm ET)

Rumor: Best Buy preparing for Oct. launch of Apple's iPhone 5

A pair of new reports claim retailer Best Buy is preparing for an October launch of Apple's next-generation iPhone, though they conflict on potential launch dates.

A leaked document from the retailer provided to Boy Genius Report suggests that the iPhone will launch the first week of October. The note to employees also claims that Sprint will offer Apple's fifth-generation iPhone at launch, aligning with a recent rumor that it would become the third carrier in the U.S. to offer the iPhone.

The memo suggests that pre-sales for the new iPhone could begin soon, with an "expected" launch in the first week of October. However, the note also cautions that launch dates are "subject to change."

Separately, This is my next also reported on Sunday that Best Buy is scheduled to have an "Apple fixture" installed at its retail stores on Friday, Oct. 21, a few weeks after the memo implies the next iPhone will launch.

"To be clear, this isn't a run-of-the-mill installation for the big box — our tipster tells us that the request that a manager be on-hand at 6AM is out of the ordinary (they usually show up at 7AM for inventory), and that a similar arrangement was scheduled for the iPhone 4 launch," the report said.

It also added that Best Buy Mobile managers are scheduled to have a meeting to discuss release dates for major new products.

iPhone 5


Both reports come on the heels of a rumor from Japan which claims that two manufacturers have begun assembling the so-called "iPhone 5." Foxconn is said to be responsible for 85 percent of the assembly, while Pegatron has a 15 percent share.

That report suggested that the next iPhone will arrive by early October in the U.S., with other territories to follow.

iPhone 5


AppleInsider reported in August that Apple's long-time advertising agency TBWA/Chiat Day has begun work on a television spots for the smartphone, which will reportedly finish up in early October. Several other reports have also pointed to an October release.

The next iPhone is expected to sport the same A5 processor found in the iPad 2, as well as a new high-resolution 8-megapixel camera. Some third party cases have suggested the device will be thinner with curved sides and a flat back.