We've charted the dates, earwigged the rumours and consulted our iPod Ouija board. After 16 hours of number-crunching on the CNET UK supercomputer, we have determined the most likely release date for the iPhone 5 -- 7 September 2011.
Let's break down the facts, Poirot-style. We know this for certain: Apple didn't announce the iPhone 5 at this year's Apple WWDC event, as it has in years past. Instead, we got iOS 5.
That means we won't be seeing the iPhone 5 this summer. Steve Jobs, however, said iOS 5 will arrive in the autumn. That's traditionally when the various iPods are refreshed at a music-themed event.
iOS 5 is packed with cool features, including a new notification style that pays homage to Android's drop-down menu. But at the end of the day, it's just software, and it means nothing without some hardware to run it on. iOS 5 will run on the iPod touch, but we don't think an iPod has enough glamour to shepherd iOS 5 into the world.
That's why we're expecting to see the iPhone 5 launch at the same time as iOS 5, in the autumn. In fact, we think the iPhone 5 will cruelly oust the iPod from its own event.
Some pundits are predicting we'll have to wait until 2012 for the iPhone 5 release. But it's already been over a year since the iPhone 4 came out, and we can't see Apple ceding that much ground to the galloping hordes of Android phones. Not to mention the Nokia Windows Phones that are also on the horizon this autumn.
So, if Apple does swap its traditional iPod event for an iPhone 5 fest, when exactly will we be opening our earholes to the message of the fifth Jesus phone? We've run the dates through equations created from numerology, astrology and NumberWang to find out.
Since 2005, Apple has shown a strong tendency to launch its iPods on the first Wednesday after Labour Day, a US bank holiday that celebrates all the work that goes into eating off the back end of a truck.
There are exceptions -- in 2008, the second-generation iPod touch and its siblings were announced on the Tuesday instead, as was the iPod in 2006. But Wednesday is still Apple's overwhelming favourite.
That means that we're laying the the finger of prognostication on Wednesday 7 September 2011.
Image credit: Le Petit Brioche