Apple will probably start taking pre-orders for its new gadgets when they're supposedly announced on September 12.
The latest iPhone 5 rumor is that Apple will open the doors to pre-orders on September 12, the same day the company will reportedly reveal the new smartphone, new iPod products and the rumored 7-inch iPad Mini. The phone is supposedly slated for a September 21 release locally, and on October 5 in markets outside the United States.
Sources claim that Apple is being a bit more aggressive this year with the launch of its new products. Last year Apple introduced the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011 and then opened up shop for pre-orders the following Friday, October 7. The first wave of iPhone 4S releases landed on store shelves on October 14, 2011, here in the United States, and the second wave arrived on October 28, 2011.
It's possible Apple is getting aggressive with the iPhone 5 launch because sales have slumped somewhat as customers are seemingly holding out on upgrading or getting a new phone until the iPhone 5 finally arrives. Apple may also be anxious to squash the competition in the 7-inch tablet sector, as currently Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire are duking it out for the top spot. Amazon is even slated to refresh its Kindle line soon, offering a revamped Kindle Fire while introducing a second-generation tablet.
There's also a good chance that Apple will have two main launch dates per year from here on out: April for its 10-inch tablets or other large devices, and September for its smartphone-sized gadgets like the iPad Mini and the iPhone. Previously April was reserved for its iPad launch, June for its new iPhones and September for its iPod product refresh, but Apple changed all that last year with the release of its iPhone 4S in the fall.
Last week brought reports that Apple plans to implement its new, smaller Dock connector across all iOS devices launching this fall -- including a modified version of the current 9.7-inch iPad 3. Apple has reportedly ditched the 30-pin connector it's used for years and is going with a 19-pin version -- possibly even 8 or 9 pins, depending on what rumor you believe. The reduced width will give Apple more breathing room within the new gadgets for extra features like a larger screen.
Naturally everything mentioned here is mere rumor and speculation. Apple hasn't announced anything official, but it's not out of the question that Apple could have "accidentally released" a few nuggests of info in order to keep the iPhone 5 embers burning. It's definitely common practice in advertizing, and Apple certainly isn't immune to hype.