Staff at Apple UK have been told to cancel their holiday plans for the first two weeks of October, it has been claimed.

A report on The Register suggests that the launch of the next-generation iPhone could be imminent, as cancelling staff leave is usually indicative of a major product announcement.

We're expecting an announcement on 4 October, which we now believe will be held at Apple's Cupertino campus, though we're not sure if the iPhone 5 - if it is an iPhone 5, and not an iPhone 4S, or both - will be available immediately or perhaps not until 21 October.

Reports from supply chain sources last week suggest that there could be a problem with some components, with touch panels manufactured by Wintek apparently affected by a problem known as 'delayed bubbling', where air bubbles appear in the panels but aren't immediately visible so are only noticed during assembly.