The Russian-language RBC Daily newspaper reports that Apple will start selling the iPhone 5 in Russia in November, “almost immediately after its official release in America.”
While the timespan that encompasses ‘immediately’ is certainly open to interpretation, this seems to lend more credence to reports that the iPhone 5 won’t launch in the US until October.
Previously, numerous outlets have pegged mid-September as the most likely time for a new iPhone launch. This, however, was called into question following a report from All Things D stating that October is the launch window Apple is currently working with.
Sources with knowledge of the situation say reports claiming AT&T has blacked out employee vacations during the last two weeks of September in preparation for the retail debut of the next iPhone are misinformed.
“I don’t know why AT&T’s calling for all hands on deck those weeks, but it’s not for an iPhone launch,” a source familiar with Apple’s plans said.
So when can we expect the company to uncrate the iPhone 5?
“October,” the source said, while declining to offer a hard-launch date. Other sources said it will be later in the month, rather than earlier.
Returning to Mother Russia, sources tell the RBC that Russian carriers like MTS and VimpelCom aren’t thrilled that they get the iPhone up to 6 months after it debuts in the US. In the interim, users acquire the iPhone via the grey market and take money out of the carriers pockets as a result. Consequently, Russian mobile carriers have been talking with Apple in an effort to “speed up delivery times.”