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A leaked document from Best Buy apparently indicates that Apple will be installing new displays on the morning of October 21 - potentially those of the iPhone 5. Luca Bruno/AP

Leaked US note suggests October 21 launch for iPhone 5

A leaked note from retailer Best Buy advises a new ‘Apple fixture installation’ at 6am on October 21. Is that a hint?

A LEAKED DOCUMENT from an American retailer may have offered a hint that the next model of Apple’s best-selling iPhone range will be released on October 21.

A photo of what appears to be a management computer at a Best Buy store shows how stores have been asked to provide a manager at 6am on the morning of October 21, so that display teams can gain access to stores and install “an Apple fixture”.

The request is marked as non-recurring, and a writer on This Is My Text – the technology blog where the picture was first published – said it was unusual for management staff to be asked to attend work for 6am.

Normally for a delivery of Apple inventory, managers are asked to show up at 7am, Chris Ziegler wrote.

“While it seems strange that thousands of retail employees could potentially be clued into iPhone availability over six weeks in advance, the language in Best Buy’s system is sufficiently vague so that it could technically be anything,” he added.

The site also explained that Best Buy Mobile managers were been summoned to a meeting 11 days earlier where they would be brief about “upcoming BIG release sales” – adding further weight to the theory.

The Friday 21 date would also seem to further earlier rumours that the phone was set for a mid-October release, with even the Wall Street Journal prepared to report a release date around that time.

German phone network Deutsche Telekom said on Monday that it would allow customers to begin reserving iPhone 5s immediately – the first formal acknowledgement from any source that an iPhone 5 was on the way.

The Daily Telegraph’s Shane Richmond noted that while iPhone updates have traditionally been announced at the WWDC developers’ conference each June, updates to the iPod range are traditionally announced in Octobers.

“Symbolically, then, the iPhone is taking over from the iPod… if this rumoured date is correct, the new iPhone will be released on the weekend of the iPod’s 10th birthday,” he wrote.

Early developer’s editions of the iOS5 operating system – which is also set to be launched on a yet-to-be-confirmed date in the autumn – had actually dropped the use of the term ‘iPod’, instead referring only to the system’s MP3-playing abilities as merely ‘Music’.

The MacRumors blog said, however, that it believed the installations to be an upgrade to the iPad display units, and that it was not related to the iPhone.

Read: Steve Jobs unveils new operating systems for Mac and iPhone – and ambitious new ‘iCloud’ >

More: Can’t wait for the iPhone 5? Here are some early details >

Plus: Apple winding down the iPod brand on new iPhone operating system >

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