German-language Focus.de is reporting (Google translation) that T-Mobile customers in the country are now allowed to reserve Apple’s unreleased handset, the iPhone 5. 9to5Mac has also received several tips from our readers confirming that the Deutsche Telekom-owned wireless operators has in fact begun issuing support tickets, one per customer, to early adopters and informed buyers who couldn’t be otherwise convinced into buying the existing iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS.
Those coupons will eventually let folks claim their handset, when it arrives, on a first-come-first-served basis. Only the carrier’s customers are eligible and only upon contacting sales representatives in one of the carrier-owned brick-and-mortar stores or by calling customer support. As you could imagine, Deutsche Telekom is pretty low-key about the initiative and thus shuns from advertising it on their website or at retail stores. Shortly after the report was published, Bloomberg was able to verify it with a company spokesperson, who said:
Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) will allow customers to reserve the next generation of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone as of today in anticipation of supply bottlenecks for the device, spokesman Alexander von Schmettow said by phone. The operator will hand out coupons to people who expressly request the successor model to the iPhone 4, without providing the name or release details of the device, he said.
Hints have been multiplying since last week that Apple could be close to unveiling a fifth-generation iPhone. Apple store employees have received their iOS 5 and iCloud training material and internal Best Buy documents have pointed to a Sprint iPhone 5 launch in the first week of October. Both nuggets confirm 9to5Mac’s discovery from July that Sprint would get iPhone 5, based on an April job posting seeking cellular engineers in the Kansas City region, right in the neighborhood of Sprint’s headquarters. 9to5Mac also originally broke the news that Apple would begin accepting iPhone 5 pre-orders in early September, gearing up for an early October launch. Also…
…This past Saturday, Japanese blog Macotakarawrote (Google translation) that contract manufacturers Pegatron Technology and Foxconn have begun assembling iPhone 5 at a rate of 85 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The blog notes that the units are not yet being packaged in boxes until Apple iOS 5 is ready for prime time. With so much clues out in the open, it’s safe to assume that invites for an Apple media event are ready and that it is now up to Apple’s marketing and CEO Tim Cook to hit the Launch button.