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iPhone 5: Apple sends 4th October launch invites

iPhone 5 launch on 4th October? Apple has sent out invitations to journalists to visit its headquarters in Cupertino, California next week for an unspecified iPhone-related event.

No precise details are offered in the email invitation. No specific reference is made to the soon-to-be-released smartphone handset - the invitation simply says "Let's talk iPhone" - but the implication, to those who have been eagerly awaiting its launch for months, seems clear.

Speculation has been rife concerning the handset's launch, along with the accompanying iOS5 operating system, but many pundits had put their money on a late-October outing.

The event will be the first major Apple product launch since founder Steve Jobs resigned as CEO in August - and it remains to be seen whether the Apple fanbois' tech messiah will be on hand to add a little turtlenecked razzle-dazzle to proceedings.

Also mooted for launch at the event is Apple's new iCloud service, the successor to the company's MobileMe service, which was first demoed at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in June.

iCloud provides extensive cloud computing services both to the company's internet-connected devices and to PCs, allowing users to store, share and sync content on the cloud, including iBooks, photos, music tracks and other documents.