This is it. A bunch of sites are independently reporting the next iPhone, call it iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S if you like, will go on sale October 7th and should be available for pre-order starting on September 7th.
What's interesting is that earlier, most speculation has the iPhone going on sale by the middle of September to late September but then a couple of news sources moved that to October. But this October 7th date seems more genuine than what we've been reading earlier in the summer.
So far, we have 9to5Mac pointing us in this direction. Part of the reason is that ramp up has been going along nicely (thank you, poor poor factory workers). (Also, TIPB has some information on the iPad 3 - don't read if you're waiting for one this fall, you're going to be disappointed.)
Here is what we don't know. Will the next iPhone pre-order be like the last iPad situation? I certainly hope not. While I did get my iPad 2 on a timely basis, there was this "waiting" that I did not like. Unlike the previous iPad launch, we could pre-order and pick it up in the store. Same for the iPhone launches as well.
If these dates stick, we can expect a media event from Apple in early September. Late August, early September, or middle of September, who cares. I'll be ready. Here is a post of just how I prepare for these Apple events even while holding down a full-time job.