At a time when the tech world is eagerly awaiting the launch of Apple's next generation iPhone aka iPhone 5, French iPhone carrier service Orange's CEO Stephane Richard has made a shocking statement, saying that highly anticipated smartphone will be available in France on Oct. 15.

Richard let slip this little gem on the iPhone 5 in a guest appearance on BFM Business earlier this week. If I believe what we were told, the iPhone 5 will be released Oct. 15, Mac4Ever quoted Richard as saying.

Meanwhile, BGR posted a timeline of the iPhone 5 and iOS 5 release dates on Tuesday, which also lends credibility to a mid-October launch. Citing a source close to the iPhone 5 development, the report said that the Cupertino-based tech giant will seed the iOS 5 beta 8 to developers on Friday, Sept. 16.

Apple will also introduce iOS 5 Gold Master build on or around Sept. 23. The report further said that build will most probably be loaded onto the iPhone 5, which has already been assembled and is currently waiting for the final software in China. Apple will then ask Carriers for approval by Oct. 15.

A recent MacRumors' report also said that Apple is likely to ship the golden master build of iOS 5 in, between Sept. 23 and 30. The report cited a new research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In the note Kuo said that Apple is scheduled to send the golden master version of iOS 5 to its iPhone and iPod touch assembling partners during the timeframe of September 23rd through 30th, which suggested a mid-October launch of the new iPhone.

No evidence of redesigned iPhone 5?

Kuo told BusinessInsider that he has not seen any evidence of the rumored redesigned iPhone 5 in the supply side pipeline. According to Kuo, his sources pointed to the N94 iPhone, popularly dubbed iPhone 4S, which Apple is expected to ship with ramping up production of 30 million units by the end of this year.

Apple is also planning additional 5 million units of iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS models to tide over the transition to the upcoming model.

AppleInsider also cited Kuo, saying the fifth generation iPhone would not be hugely different from the current iPhone 4. Dubbed N94, the upcoming iPhone will come with 512 MB of RAM and the same A5 chip as used in the iPad 2.

The key details that Kuo shared about the N94 iPhone are:

- 512MB of RAM, A5 chip

- Almost same camera module height as in iPhone 4, which will be made by Sony and Omnivision

- A higher resolution 8-megapixel camera

- 3.5-inch retina display, not 4-inch as a number of rumors have claimed

- Same basic iPhone 4 form factor with Gorilla glass on both the front and back panel (Although he is not 100 percent confident on the point)

- Addition of white models

- Improved antenna design

Kuo also stated that Foxconn will handle 85 percent of the manufacturing load, while the remaining 15 percent will be assembled by Pegatron.