The latest iPhone 5 rumor (well, at least until later today)

Analyst predicts final version will be ready by last September for mid-October unveiling

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While the seemingly endless delays in the release of the iPhone 5 may be frustrating for eager fans of Apple's smartphones, they do provide one valuable upside for the tech press -- an endless supply of speculation!

The latest comes via ars technica, which reported Monday afternoon that iOS 5 is nearing "golden master status" -- essentially the final commercial version -- according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

That should happen sometime near the end of this month, which would put an unveiling sometime in the middle of next month.

This should come as a great relief to Apple Nation (which knows no borders). However, if Ming-Chi is correct, some disappointment may be in store because, ars technica's Chris Foresman writes, Apple's newest smartphone may be little more than "an updated iPhone 4 model."

Say what? After seven developer beta versions (eight if you include the final), we're only going to get a modest update of iOS 4? What's so insanely great about that? No time-travel function? No teleporting? No soulmate locator? Ripoff!

Foresman writes:

[A]ccording to Kuo, supply chain checks haven't revealed any evidence of a rumored new form factor. Instead, all evidence supports our belief that the next-gen iPhone will be largely the same as the current device with a few minor changes. The iPhone 5 will continue to use a 3.5" Retina display, and will likely retain the full glass front and back. Upgrades are expected to include an A5 processor with 512MB of RAM—the same as the current iPad 2—and an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera.

OK, well those things are good. But still!

I'll have another iPhone 5 rumor for you later today, even if I have to make one up. No need to thank me; it's my job.

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