UK retailers expect to start selling new iPhones on September 20

Blue iPhone 5C packaging closeup

With U.S. wireless carriers AT&T and T-Mobile – as well as Apple itself – canceling their retail employee vacations ahead of Apple’s media event next Tuesday, retailers and distributors in the United Kingdom are now bracing themselves for the impending mid-September iPhone 5S/5C launch.

A report by the British newspaper The Guardian asserts that Apple will be delivering the upcoming new handsets to UK retailers and mobile phone network shops on September 20 and 27, in time for them to go on sale approximately a week after the official announcement on September 10.

The report matches up conveniently with market rumors of Apple allegedly launching the new devices on Japan’s SoftBank and KKDI networks come September 20

Matt Warman, reporting for The Guardian:

Sources close to people involved in the courier industry claim that bookings have been made for the weeks including those dates, with shops being encouraged to expect sales to begin on the Friday of each respective week.

The author goes on to note that it’s not clear why the two respective dates.

It’s possible that September 20 will be for the iPhone 5S, with the plastic iPhone 5C variant arriving a week later. He also notes the new stands for shops include three slots for products rather than the existing two, another sign of Apple getting ready to add a brand new iPhone model to its stable.

The iPhone 5S is expected to include fingerprint scanning, a faster A7 chip and iSight camera improvements such as a 12 or 13-megapixel CMOS sensor, improved night shooting and super slow motion video capture at 120 frames per second.

The mid-range iPhone 5C is most likely an iPhone 5 variant with a body made from polycarbonate plastic. As such, it should phase out the current-generation iPhone 5.

Both devices are thought to be offered in a variety of color options, a first for iPhones.

Packaged iPhone 5C units, via Chinese website

MacRumors has learned from reliable sources that Apple is now stockpiling new iPhone units in the United States for quick retail distribution, with approximately 1.2 million iPhone 5C units already shipped into the country as of yesterday.