updated 10:55 am EDT, Tue September 27, 2011
Consistent with repotss, Apple's track record
Apple will release the iPhone 5 in five countries on Friday, October 14th, claims Japanese site Macotakara. Specifically the device is expected to launch in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. The timing is consistent with accounts that Apple is blacking out the 14th and 15th for Apple Store workers looking to go on vacation, and past reports pointing to a launch sometime between the 7th and the 15th.
All of the countries mentioned tend to form the core group for any iPhone launch; if Mactokara is accurate, Canada will once again be excluded, despite having been a launch country in the past. The choice of a Friday follows Apple's normal scheduling pattern, favoring the end of the week for new iPhones. The one exception has been the iPhone 4, which still debuted on a Thursday.
An event announcing one or more new iPhones is anticipated on October 4th. As with iOS 4, Apple is likely to release iOS 5 shortly before any new hardware. Distributing firmware early offers several advantages, most notably reducing server traffic on the day many new iPhone users are bound to hit.