updated 11:35 am EDT, Tue September 13, 2011
iOS 5 schedule gets narrowed to three dates
Apple's timing for iOS 5 completion may have been corroborated by a leak Tuesday morning. One last beta is expected by BGR to arrive on September 16 with a final build, also known as a gold master, due a week later on September 23. Carriers would have to give approval to the release on or before October 5, supporting beliefs in an October 7 iPhone 5 release.
The scheduling is tight and could see Apple forced to push dates back if the beta, gold master, or carrier clearance is significantly delayed. One option may be for Apple to ship out as complete a version of iOS 5 as it can and patch only if it catches bugs or needs to adjust code to fit carrier requirements.
It would be consistent with Apple's practice of posting iOS 5 betas every two weeks. iOS 5 beta 7 was released at the end of August.
Although the tip is unconfirmed, most rumors have Apple shipping the iPhone 5 in the first half of October and give Apple little room to move, suggesting the OS would have to be ready on largely the same timeline. The software is one of Apple's most ambitious with not just more advanced notifications, computer-free use and other immediate features but expected support for Sprint and other major carriers that have yet to get a deal.