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iPhone 5 coming in October, says US network exec

A vice president of US phone network AT&T has reportedly told employees the next-gen iPhone will launch in early October.

Pin back your ears, phone fans: we're hearing perhaps the most credible rumour yet about the release of the iPhone 5. No less a personage than a vice president of US phone network AT&T has reportedly told employees the next-generation iPhone will launch in early October.

The top AT&T wonk told managers, "Expect things to get really, really busy in the next 35-50 days, so prepare your teams accordingly," Boy Genius Report reports. The hotly anticipated phone will arrive in October after a probable September announcement. That chimes with previous rumours suggesting an October launch.

In previous years, Apple has released each new iPhone at the company's annual developer conference, WWDC, in June. This year, Apple decided to focus on apps at WWDC, so the new phone wouldn't overshadow the event. By breaking the cycle of announcing new iPhones every June, Apple has also whipped up a storm of speculation about the new phone.

What could be the new iPhone has reportedly been spotted being used, while fans have created myriad concepts of what they'd like the phone to look like. Some fans have even gone as far as creating elaborate fake websites for the forthcoming phone.

It's not just the iPhone 5 prompting fevered speculation. The next version of the iPad tablet is also on its way, and the rumour mill is already spinning fast with talk of a high-resolution retina display screen. It's possible the third iPad could arrive this year, but our money's on a 2012 launch. For more on the next slate from Apple, here's a guide to iPad 3 rumours, release date, specs and more.

Are you planing to bag yourself an iPhone 5 when it does arrive, or is October too long to wait? And which phones do you think will give the fifth iPhone a run for its money? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.