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U.S. Retailers Eye October for iPhone 5 Launch

The newest incarnation of the Apple iPhone will no doubt draw crowds en masse, but the notoriously secretive tech company has yet to release information about the future release. Analysts had hoped that the device would become available by September, but the Cupertino-based company has yet to announce the iPhone 5′s arrival. Some retailers, however, are expecting to begin offering the iPhone 5 to consumers in October.

A leaked document from Best Buy, the large consumer electronics company, shows that the company plans to begin offering the iPhone 5 on Sprint to customers next month. Analysts had originally expected the iPhone to launch in September, so the potential release of the device next month has both investors and consumers excited at the possibilities. At any rate, the device should have no shortage of customers ready to add it to their personal collection of mobile gear. According to a recent poll, 35% of American consumers would purchase the device without ever having seen the product with their own eyes.

While the potential for an upcoming release is certainly interesting news, perhaps even more intriguing is Best Buy’s belief that the iPhone 5 will be available on the Sprint network. When the iPhone was originally released in 2007, it was only available to AT&T customers, which was previously known as Cingular Wireless. It only became available on competing networks earlier this year, when Verizon began offering a CDMA version of the popular smartphone to its customers.

Many analysts have speculated that inferior smartphones have been able to get a leg up over the iPhone, as so many consumers can’t purchase the Apple device because of their location. While AT&T is certainly one of the largest players in the American mobile market, with over 98 million subscribers, many markets don’t offer high-speed reception. Because smaller companies operating in those arenas don’t have the opportunity to offer the iPhone to their customers, those individuals are forced to choose from other smartphone devices, including many that run Google’s Android operating system.

Regardless of whether or not the new devices will be available beyond Sprint and Verizon, the October date is gaining credibility thanks to the actions of another mobile company across the pond. Deutsche Telekom, which happens to be the parent company of American subsidiary T-Mobile, is allowing customers to begin pre-registering to purchase the device. According to the German company, the move is intended to reduce bottlenecks that may prevent consumers from receiving the devices once they are released. The iPhone 4 was notoriously plagued with such distribution issues after its release, with several stores across the globe selling out of the popular device for weeks at a time.

Whether the iPhone 5 finally makes its debut next month, or customers are left waiting in the dark, there is no doubt that the announcement will send consumers into a veritable frenzy. Rumors abound regarding the phone’s design and what improvements have been made. Nevertheless, in classic Apple fashion, official information won’t be available upon Apple decides its ready.

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