Apple plans to release the Golden Master ("GM") of iOS 5 to its overseas assemblers between September 23 and September 30 according to a report from AppleInsider (via CNet). This would mean that iOS 5 -- and the fifth-generation iPhone by extension -- would be on schedule a mid-October launch.
Citing analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, AI notes that the Golden Master (GM) version of the much-anticipated software update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is scheduled to go to overseas "assemblers" in as soon as 11 days. The report also states that new iPhone and iPod touch went into mass production in late August.
Upon receiving the software, Apple's overseas assemblers will be able to install it on the finalized hardware and prepare it for shipping. The latest version of iOS will come preinstalled on both the fifth-generation models of the iPhone and iPod touch, set to be released in the coming weeks.
A release of iOS 5 to assemblers the week of Sept. 23 means its likely finalized hardware units for the new iPhone and iPod touch will begin to ship at the end of September. With an estimated 10 to 12 days for shipping, the two new devices are likely to be available by mid-October, Kuo said.
This will come as great news to people clinging to dying iPhone 3G and 3GS'.