Apple iOS 5 ‘Gold’ in Late September, iPhone 5 in October

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Stoking rumors that Apple’s iPhone 5 will at last magically appear in October, an analyst tells Apple Insider that iOS 5—the next iteration of Apple’s mobile device operating system—should be golden the final week of September.

That’s “between September 23 and September 30” to be precise, and “golden” meaning the final code revision used as the template or reference for mastering (if we’re talking physical media) and/or installations (if we’re talking the actual devices).

(MORE: Report Says iPhone 5 Might Be Out October 7)

Who’s the analyst saying so? Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities. Kuo previously told Apple Insider last April—it turns out accurately—that Intel was ramping up Sandy Bridge boards and Thunderbolt ports for MacBook Air deployment later in the year. Also in April, Kuo told Apple Insider the iPhone 5 would have an 8-megapixel rear camera, support both GSM and CDMA modes and be available in September. Yep, “oops” to the last claim, but we’ve since heard that finalizing iOS 5 is what’s held up the iPhone 5, not the physical hardware itself.

Kuo says new iPhones and iPod Touches went into production in late August. At this point, it sounds like assemblers are just waiting for iOS 5 code to finalize things for shipping and the new products’ release to the public. We’re looking at anywhere from 10 to 12 days shipping from receipt of iOS 5 final, says Kuo, putting the new devices on store shelves by sometime mid-October.

We’ve written at least two stories picking up the “by October” rumor, specifically this one and this one. Media consensus at this point (channeling the latest analyst speculation) is that we’ll see these devices by October and no later.

iOS 5 will refresh Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and according to Apple, includes “more than 200” new features, including a new notification center, a custom newsstand for subscriptions, an iMessage app for sending unlimited text messages between iOS devices, an improved “to-do” function called Reminders, enhanced Twitter integration, and a PC-free approach that (finally, thank goodness) eliminates the need to plug your iOS device into a computer for anything at all.

MORE: Report: The iPhone 5 Might Actually Arrive in October

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.