Apple iPhone 5 release date is excitingly close, if the latest rumors are not merely figments of imagination. Multiple tech Web sites have zeroed in on an October launch of iPhone 5, and the buzz in the air is hard to miss.

Here's an update for iPhone fans dying to place hands on Apple's flagship device.

The tech Web site, This is My Next, reported on Sunday that retailer Best Buy is scheduled to have an Apple fixture installed on Oct. 21.

To be clear, this isn't a run-of-the-mill installation for the big box -- our tipster tells us that the request that a manager be on-hand at 6AM is out of the ordinary (they usually show up at 7AM for inventory), and that a similar arrangement was scheduled for the iPhone 4 launch, the report said.

The report says that according to a tipster, Best Buy Mobile managers have a meeting scheduled for Oct. 10 to “discuss upcoming BIG release dates.” The report argues that allowing for the time needed between this meeting and the actual release of iPhone 5, the release date can be pegged on Oct. 21.

Another report that supports the October release of iPhone 5 is the Boy Genius Report. According to the  document leaked from best Buy to BGR, Apple will launch the next-generation phone in the first week of October.

Thanks to a leaked document from a Best Buy source, we have discovered that Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores are anticipating taking preorders for the iPhone 5 starting in the first week of October, the BGR report said.

The leaked Best Buy note to employees also mentions that Sprint will be offering iPhone 5 at launch, solidifying earlier rumors that Sprint Nextel was slated to become the third carrier to offer iPhone on its network.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal had reported that the carrier would begin selling the iPhone 5 in mid-October. The report said according to people familiar with the matter, the new iPhone will be similar to the iPhone 4, but thinner and lighter with an improved digital camera and a new more sophisticated operating system.

Another incident that fanned the release date rumors was the reported loss of an iPhone 5 prototype at a bar.

Technology news Web site, CNET, reported last week that an Apple employee lost the iPhone 5 in a San Francisco tequila bar in July, prompting vigorous rumors that the launch of the device was quite near. In April 2010, Apple lost an iPhone 4 prototype that went missing in a bar just before its release. The parallels could not be missed.

The story of another iPhone prototype being lost at a time when the release date frenzy was at its highest sparked speculation among tech circles that Apple may be employing a publicity stunt ahead of the release date.

Johny Major, writing in BeatWeek, says that Apple could have been attempting to divert attention from other developments in the sector, like the launch of the rival gadget Samsung Galaxy S2.

He says that incident of the loss of the prototype, bought Apple some additional time as it continues to drag its heels.

As the release date rumors gain pace on the one side, there is heightened speculation about the incoming devices' major features on the other.

Right now the buzz is centered around whether iPhone 5 will have a 3.7-inch display or a 4-inch display.

There are people who think Apple will stick to a smaller display and bank on better resolution while others vouch for bigger display to take on competition.

Tech Web site, MacRumors, has put together a rendition of iPhone 5 based on a case design leak. This also suggests that the iPhone 5 could have a 4-inch display.

Our designer took measurements of this imaginary device using the dock port as a standard measurement and produced the document shown above, the report says. Based on that extrapolation, they have concluded that if the case design is genuine, iPhone 5 could have a larger display than iPhone 4.

If you believe these cases represent the final iPhone 5 design, then you also have to believe that the iPhone 5 will be much larger than the iPhone 4 and is certain to have at least a 4 screen, the report says.

The report also says that going by the case design, iPhone 5 will be thinner. Measuring the expected thickness of the device is more challenging given uncertainty about exactly how the case snaps onto it along the sides, but the device certainly appears to be below .30 at its thickest and tapering by approximately .065 from top to bottom.