Although it seems like we are constantly hearing conflicting rumors involving Apple’s next smartphone, there is one thing all of the gossip seems to agree on: a release date. Not only do they all suggest a Fall launch, a lot of the information has pointed specifically to September.

We’ve heard this “confirmed” by everyone from analysts with inside sources to carrier execs, and the date lines up nicely with Apple’s annual iPod event. Although September makes sense for several reasons, AllThingsDigital is reporting that Apple won’t launch the iPhone 5 until October…

To say that the gadget is highly anticipated is an understatement. Google currently pulls up 2.1 million hits for the search term, and the folks on Wall Street are expecting the Cupertino company to sell more than 100 million iPhone 5s over the next 3 years.

With so much hype surrounding the upcoming device, you have to wonder why Apple would wait until October to release. In fact, analysts are already considering cutting their forecast of 22 million iPhones shipped in the next quarter to 20 million because of the purported delay.

AllThingsDigital’s John Paczkowski claims that his “source familiar with Apple’s plans” is certain though, that the next iPhone won’t launch until October.

“I don’t know why AT&T’s calling for all hands on deck those weeks, but it’s not for an iPhone launch,”  states the tipster in response to recent reports that AT&T has blacked out employee vacations during the last 2 weeks of September.

While Paczkowski’s “source” has no more value to me than the next guys, it’s intriguing that the writer is making such bold claims. In journalism, especially with a site as visible as AllThingsD, credibility is extremely valuable. So why would you publish something like this without merit?

Since the report, TiPB’s Rene Ritchie and TNW’s Matthew Panzarino have both echoed the October launch date. Additionally, plugged-in writer John Gruber mentions the article on his popular Daring Fireball site. So does this mean Paczkowski’s case hold water? Maybe.

While we’re still banking on a September unveiling of Apple’s next iPhone, it’s possible that it may not be available until October. One thing’s for sure though, if Apple waits until October to launch the device, it better be more than a “modest upgrade” from its predecessor.

Thoughts? Are you thinking September or October?