iPhone 3GS Discontinued? iPhone 5 Slated For October? Recapping the Rumor Mill

It’s officially August, which means we could be closer to an Apple announcement, or in for a long ride of more rumors. Here’s a quick recap of the rumor mill’s best so far:

According to various reports, the iPhone 5 will be released as early as August or as late as October. An unnamed source told The Wall Street Jourlnal’s John Paczkowski that AT&T’s vacation blackout at the end of September has nothing to to do with an iPhone 5 launch. Paczkowski’s source says the iPhone 5 will be launched in October, and other sources confirmed that it will probably be late October until we see the new device.

One tech blog was even bold enough to offer a September 7 release date, this is the only hard-launch date that the rumor mill has offered to my knowledge. The October release is a new theory, with the consensus being that we’ll see the iPhone 5 sometime this September. Even Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer was quoted as saying: “We also have a future product transition that we are not good to talk about today, and these things will impact our September quarter.”

The next-generation iPhone has been changed from a redesigned iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, to an iPhone 5 which will feature a new look. Cases that hint at a larger screen and other new features have been leaked, and of course there is the popular “teardrop” shape theory. Rumors also have Apple releasing an affordable device for the mid-range/pre-paid market. A recent 9to5Mac report has shown that the iPhone 3GS days may be numbered. Sources revealed that iPhone 3GS stock has dwindled, and on Sunday, the tech blog noted that a store in London was informed that the iPhone 3GS is no longer available.

The disappearance of iPhone 3GS stock could mean Apple is getting ready to discontinue the device to make room for the next-generation iPhone, or that the iPhone 3GS is receiving an upgrade to be Apple’s new affordable phone.

Don’t forget the obligatory T-Mobile/Sprint iPhone rumors. Some analysts believe that Apple will have to increase its carrier roster to compete with the many options Android devices offer.

To recap my recap, you can expect Apple to launch a thinner, lighter iPhone with an improved rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and larger display sometime between today and November. T-Mobile and Sprint will be offering their own iPhones, and an affordable, possibly pre-paid iPhone is also on the way. The iPhone 3GS is either on its way out or is making a comeback after a facelift… Remember, none of this has been officially confirmed, and many different tech blogs have cited many unnamed secret sources. There have been so many leaks, pictures, mockups and guesses that it’s impossible to know what is fact or fiction. I guess if you throw enough darts at the wall, a few will eventually stick.