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iPhone 5 event scheduled by Apple for Oct. 4

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(Read caption) Apple will likely unveil the iPhone 5 on Oct. 4. Pictured, the Apple store in Hong Kong.

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After several months of speculation, scuttlebutt, and wild rumormongering, the long awaited iPhone 5 unveiling draws nigh: Apple has issued invitations to an Oct. 4 press event at company HQ, in Cupertino. And lest anyone worry that Apple will introduce a new computer, or tablet, or something like that, the company has helpfully emblazoned the invite with the words, "Let's talk iPhone."

It's worth noting that the early October unveiling date was accurately predicted by the folks at 9 to 5 Mac, who published a lengthy report way back in August, alleging that the iPhone had moved into the pre-production stages. Oct. 4, of course, puts Apple a bit behind its yearly iPhone refresh schedule. There's no telling what's to blame for this delayed release – some attribute it to the long-delayed spring release of the white iPhone 4, others say it was the slow process of manufacturing tens of millions of iPhone 5 handsets. Perhaps both. Maybe neither. It's not like Apple to say either way.

The big remaining question, of course, is what the new iPhone will look like. Over at Apple Insider, Neil Hughes has the details of an investor note issued by Chris Whitmore, an analyst at Deutsche Bank. Whitmore is confident that Apple will release two new iPhones – a completely redesigned iPhone 5, with "a new unibody aluminum design," and a more affordable iPhone 4S, geared toward the mid-range market. More here.

In related news, Nielsen has published the results of a new survey indicating that Android is expanding its lead over the iPhone and iOS. According to Nielsen, 43 percent of all smartphone owners have an Android device. But of the consumers who bought a new smartphone in the last three months, a whopping 56 percent chose an Android phone, Nielsen notes. By comparison, 28 percent chose an iPhone.

"The preferences of these so-called 'recent acquirers' are important as they are often a leading indicator of where the market is going," writes Don Kellogg, an analyst at Nielsen.

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