Apple will reportedly release iOS 5 at 10 a.m. PDT, or 1 p.m. ET, Wednesday. The word comes from Robert Shoesmith, the British experimenter who has been camping out in front of the London Apple Store waiting for the iPhone 4S for several months.

The information was reportedly obtained from Apple Store employees, who have been telling any customers asking about the iOS update. Shoesmith tweeted the announcement and posted it on his blog.

Just to let all you guys know that iOS 5 is not out until 6 p.m. I've heard in the UK this evening, Shoesmith wrote. There were a few people at the Apple Store this morning waiting for this.

If Shoesmith's prediction is correct, global users can expect the update at the following local times:

  •  Baghdad: 8 p.m.
  •  Beijing: 1 a.m.
  •  Berlin: 7 p.m.
  •  Boston: 1 p.m.
  •  Cairo: 7 p.m.
  •  Chicago: 12 p.m.
  •  Denver: 11 a.m.
  •  Dubai: 9 p.m.
  •  Hong Kong: 1 a.m.
  •  Indianapolis: 1 p.m.
  •  Jerusalem: 7 p.m.
  •  London: 6 p.m.
  •  Los Angeles: 10 a.m.
  •  Moscow: 9 p.m.
  •  New York: 1 p.m
  •  Rome: 7 p.m.
  •  Tokyo: 2 a.m.
  •  Sydney: 4 a.m.

The rumor aligns nicely with Apple's history of software releases, as the company originally released iOS 2, 3, and 4 at 10 a.m. Cupertino, Calif., time.

Apple's most advanced operating system, iOS 5 will be available as a free download from the iTunes Store. Users can connect to their Mac and PC and follow a set of instructions in iTunes. Once the update is finished, users will never need to plug into their computers ever again, since one of the key features of iOS 5 is total device independence.

iOS 5 is Apple's most comprehensive upgrade, with over 200 new features for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The phone features an organized Notification Center, a free BBM-type text messaging service called iMessage, new lifestyle applications, an upgrade to the camera interface, an overhaul of the Safari mobile browser, parental controls, deep integration with Twitter and the ability to sync apps, documents, calendars, contacts, photos and music with Apple's new cloud infrastructure called iCloud. Users can check out iCloud before they get the update.

Every new iOS device sold after Oct. 12 will have iOS 5 pre-loaded onto the hardware, including the iPhone 4S, which Apple plans to release at 8 a.m. ET Friday.

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