The Apple iPhone 5 release date seems to be inching closer as more rumors have leaked, suggesting an early October release is likely.

An internal memo from the management of Sprint indicates the company has informed its employees they can’t go on vacation from September 30th to October 15th due to a possible major mobile phone launch.

Due to the possibility of a major phone launch in October we are blacking out September 30th through October 15th, the memo states.

However, the memo doesn't specify which major phone is to be released, but speculation is that it could be the iPhone 5 as the blackout dates are in line with earlier iPhone 5 launch date rumors.

Adding credit to the memo, a Bloomberg report last week said the mid-October arrival of the Sprint-powered next-generation iPhone was on the cards. Bloomberg says Sprint plans on keeping unlimited data plans even with the arrival of those phones. Sources told Bloomberg Sprint is looking to be the only operator that offers an unlimited data plan for the iPhone.

Meanwhile, according to MacRumors citing analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is apparently going to be sending the gold version of iOS 5 to its assembly partners between the dates of Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, suggesting a launch for the new hardware around mid-October once the assemblers have had time to install the software on already-produced hardware and ship it out.

The claims are adding fuel to the earlier reports that Apple will launch its next generation smartphone in early October.

Coming to the other reports, BGR reported last week that Best Buy was already gearing up for preorders as the smartphone is expected early next month.

DigiTimes reported that manufacturer Foxconn is now rumored to be producing 150,000 units a day and that shipments of iPhone 5s from the supply chain are expected to reach five to six million in September and top more than 22 million units in the fourth quarter.

Foxconn is supposedly handling about 85 percent of iPhone 5 production, while Pegatron is contracted for the remaining 15 percent.

There have also heard reports that German Apple carrier partner Deutsche Telekom already started pre-sales for Apple's fifth-generation smartphone. Bloomberg recently reported that it confirmed with Deutsche Telekom that starting last week its subscribers may begin reserving Apple's iPhone 5 smartphone.

Apple Inc. will issue press invitations on Sept. 14 to the iPhone 5 launch, which will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sept. 21, according to CultofMac. The smartphone will be released in early October, with pre-orders starting Sept. 28.

However, Apple hasn't even announced an event to introduce the new product or said there would be a new iPhone at all. In fact, it has not even confirmed if the next iteration of the iPhone will be called iPhone 5.