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iPhone 5 to pop Oct. 15, says France Telecom chief

Has the chief exec of France Telecom spilled the beans? Stephane Richard tells reporters that the new iPhone will debut in mid-October.

Here we go again. Instead of launching October 7 as has been rumored many times over, Apple's new iPhone may actually debut about a week later on October 15, at least according to the CEO of France's largest telecom.

When, oh when, will the new iPhone appear?
When, oh, when will the new iPhone appear? Apple

Chatting with French reporters at a business conference this week, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said that he had already gotten the inside scoop on the new phone's launch date, according to tech news site TechRadar.

"If we believe what we have been told, the iPhone 5 will be released on 15 October," Richard proclaimed without revealing just where he got the information.

The loquacious CEO of France Telecom hasn't been shy about talking tech in the past, speaking with AllThingsD's Ina Fried in May about all things iPhone and Android and spilling the beans about the coming of Apple's iPad back in early 2010.

But, as TechRadar points out, October 15 lands on a Saturday, which is atypical of Apple's usual strategy of launching a new product on a weekday, although the original iPad did debut on a Saturday.

Apple could also conceivably kick off the new iPhone in the U.S. on October 7 and then hit other countries a week later. But the company is more likely to want to launch the phone in all the major markets at the same time to take the greatest advantage of the upcoming holiday-shopping season, speculates the International Business Times.

Related stories:
• iPhone 5 rumor roundup
• Inside the iPhone 5
• iPhone 5 now rumored to launch October 7
• Sprint to launch 'major device' by Oct. 15
• iPhone 5 demand 'unprecedented,' survey says

However, October 15 has also been rumored as the date that Sprint may unveil an iPhone for its customers.

So Richard's inside scoop may be on the money--or just another item to add to the lengthy iPhone 5 rumor mill.

Beyond France Telecom, China Telecom is another international carrier prepping for the iPhone 5 next month.

Citing a report in a Chinese newspaper called the "Southern Metropolis Daily," The Next Web tech blog says that China's third largest carrier has already announced the availability of the iPhone 5 at one store and is busy creating an ad campaign and training employees to handle customer orders. Official sales are set to begin October, The Next Web reported, though no specific date was revealed.

Now bigger than Verizon as the world's largest CDMA carrier, China Telecom is expected to sell more than a million iPhones by the end of the year, The Next Web said.