iPhone 5 release date rumors, as well as speculation over the specifications of the Apple flagship device, are gaining ground in the United States.

From iPhone 5 prototype being lost in a bar to rampant rumors about specs in the past several months suggest that Apple’s next generation iPhone is round the corner.

Recently, Sprint was “confirmed” to be selling the upcoming iPhone 5 which is expected to be released in October. Bloomberg has reported that Deutsche Telekom AG, which is the parent company for all T-Mobile branches around the world, is taking the pre-orders for iPhone 5. Sprint also recently raised its smartphone termination fee to $350, a move which some have taken as further indication that the company will soon begin selling Apple's iPhone. And with reports of Sprint installing signal boosting equipment (CDMA and 4G) in and around Apple retail stores ahead of the rumored iPhone 5 launch, the possibility of WiMax support looms high.

While unconfirmed, many analysts believe that Apple's next generation phone will forego 4G, believing that the company feels the technology is too immature.

In fact, Apple has not even confirmed if the next iteration of the iPhone will be called iPhone 5. It has not given the slightest hint about the device being anywhere near announcement. However, there have been numerous reports on its imminent arrival, sourced to leaks from Apple's Asian manufacturers. According to the Japanese Web site Macotakara, a Chinese source reported that Foxconn and Pegatron have begun assembling the iPhone 5 in preparation for an early October launch in the U.S. and a late October launch in Asia.

However, in reality iOS 5 is still in beta stages and 9 to 5 Mac reports that at Apple’s own retail stores, the training for iOS 5 and iCloud has begun. iOS 5 will come with 200 new features according to Apple. Once iOS 5 is ready from beta stage, it would give a clear indication of the nearing iPhone 5 release. The latest Best Buy memo points to Oct. 21, where the vague “Apple fixture” is expected to be installed at an unnamed Best Buy location.

Most of the reports suggest that Apple’s next generation iPhone will have A5 dual-core processor, an edge-to-edge screen, metal back and possibly a higher resolution camera. And the screen size is being disputed at 3.7 or 4-inches.