We have been reporting on iPhone 5 rumors for quite a while, but this maybe the strongest release date sign yet. Japanese blog Macotakara is reporting that the next generation iPhone is well into production in China, citing reliable Chinese sources for information.
The report coincides with the Wall Street Journal, who had previously reported that the iPhone 5 would begin production in June, with all signs pointing to a September or October launch.
MacRumors reminds of us of the last report from Macotakara, which was for the iPad 3:
For reference, Macotakara also cited similar sources when they reported that the iPad 3 first went into production in January 2012. The lead time between production and launch for the iPad 3 was approximately two months with an official launch date of March 16th, 2012. That could suggest that we could see the new iPhone as early as September, though the production timelines for the iPad and iPhone may differ significantly.
Leaked parts for the next iPhone have pretty much all but confirmed a 4 inch screen, new dock connector, and two tone back plating.