A report from Taiwan’s Digitimes says that Foxconn is churning out the unannounced iPhone 5 hardware at an alarming rate — over 150,000 units a day. That’s crazy, and it means Foxconn is racing to get shipments up to 5-6 million units total by later on this month. All of Apple’s contractors are working around the clock as well, funneling components into Foxconn to create the new iPhones.
A source inside Apple has indicated to Fast Company that the iPhone 5 launch event may be in the week of the September 19th, or possibly the 26th–giving a short period for pre-orders before the device is launched in multiple countries at once on a date in the first week of October (a rumor that’s increasingly been believable).
Speculation about the release date has reached fever pitch, and Deutsche Telecom has taken the extraordinary step of announcing a pre-order service without having official confirmation of the delivery date to give to its customers. Meanwhile, in the U.S. a leaked memo from Best Buy indicates that the global release may indeed be happening in the first week of October, and staff should prepare themselves for pre-orders imminently. The fact that the U.S. carrier Sprint is associated with this leak (and a few other bits of information) hint that the iPhone is going to be arriving on many more U.S. carriers than before, following the sales model Apple uses elsewhere around the world–and it’s fueled debate about how this reflects on Sprint’s future fortunes as well as its legal case against the AT&T-T-Mobile merger.