France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard believes the iPhone 5 will be released on October 15. The remarks came during an interview with French reporters at a business conference earlier this week, as reported by TechRadar.

We’ve heard multiple rumors of the next iPhone’s suspected launch date, but none from someone as high up as the CEO of a major telecom company.

"If we believe what we have been told, the iPhone 5 will be released on 15 October," said Richard. The CEO declined to comment further on his source of the information.

Astute observers will quickly realize that October 15 falls on a Saturday which isn’t typical for Apple product launches. But then again, the original Wi-Fi only iPad debuted on April 3, 2010 which was Saturday. A weekend launch could lead to stronger initial sales as many consumers would be off work and free to wait in what will likely be a very long line at their local wireless provider or Apple retail store.

In similar news, CapitalVue is reporting that China Telecom has started preparing staff to take orders for the next iPhone at the end of September. The report comes from the Southern Metropolis Daily, which goes on to say that one local branch has already started advertising for the new phone.

This latest pre-iPhone 5 tidbit aligns with other rumors that indicate Sprint will carry the new Apple handset with unlimited data next month, perhaps even by October 15. Other sources indicate that Sprint has already started briefing the sales team about a pending launch and that a 4G iPad is also in the works.