As a comparison, the iPhone 4S was announced on Oct. 4, 2011, with pre-orders beginning on Friday, Oct. 7. In a sad, ironic twist, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs died the day after the iPhone 4S was announced, on, Oct. 5, 2011.
The actual retail release is still planned for 9 days later, on Sept. 21, 2012, as we reported earlier. It seems that the first international release, which occurs as the second wave of an iPhone launch, will begin two weeks later, in the first week of October, mostly likely Friday, Oct. 5.
Although it's been rumored for some time that the Sept. 12 iPhone 5 launch event will also unveil the new iPad mini, a new iPod nano, and a new iPod touch, last week a new rumor arose: Apple may launch a new iPad as well, one with the new dock connector that the other devices are going to sport.
It's still unclear, also, if all these devices will release to retail at the same time. While they may all be introduced at the same time, that doesn't mean they will all reach stores at the same time. Some, in fact, might be available on the day of the launch event.
All of this is still just a rumor, though. Even the launch date is just a rumor. Still, it's all lining up, and the multiple rumors that seem to come every day point to an iPhone 5 launch very, very soon.