Want two words to describe the past week? Holding pattern. Despite some interesting iPhone 5 (and iPhone 4s) rumors, we’ve still heard nothing officially from Apple regarding its new handset. But, we did here some big news from Google and Microsoft. Here’s a look at some of the news from the past week.

More iPhone Rumors

AT&T Readying For Release Of An iPhone 4S?

AT&T is planning on selling a white iPhone 4S, according to a new listing in its inventory system. If this is correct, it means Apple will soon release an updated version of its iPhone 4 along with the iPhone 5, according to news first published by Engadget.

The iPhone 5 Launch Timeline Begins Falling Into Place

The iPhone 5’s arrival date is still unknown, however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to figure out when the handset could be released. According to BGR, a trusted source has confirmed that Apple is expected to release one more iOS 5 beta followed by the Gold Master release. From this, we can pinpoint the approximate date the iPhone 5 should arrive.

According to this news, Apple will release iOS 5 beta 8 this Friday, September 16. From there, the Gold Master version (in other words, the final iOS 5 release) will arrive approximately one week later.

Assuming developers have no problem with the final release, Apple will then “request that carrier partners give technical acceptance to the Gold Master” by October 5.

From there, the iPhone 5 would soon follow.

Case-Mate Leaks Photos Of iPhone 5 Cases

Wouldn’t it be nice for Apple to get on with it and finally announce the iPhone 5? Once they do, we and everyone else could stop with the rumor mill (and begin discussing the iPhone 6!) Until that time, the rumors continue…

The latest iPhone 5 story comes from Case-Mate, the iDevice accessory giant. Earlier today, the company published an entire page on its website showing a line of iPhone 5 cases. Soon after, however, the page was removed, according to news first reported by BGR.

Industry News

Apple IDs Could Soon Be Consolidated

The days of juggling multiple Apple IDs could soon become a thing of the past. Apple is said to be working on eliminating multiple IDS, according to news first reported by MacRumors.

Many of us have been there; for whatever reason we’ve created and maintained multiple IDs for use in the Apple ecosystem.

Want to merge those IDs? Right now, Apple doesn’t allow it. In fact, this problem has gotten more frustrating with the introduction of Apple’s new iCloud system.

Apple Set To Discontinue Its Controversial Line Of Bumper Cases

Long criticized for being too expensive, Apple’s line of Bumper cases for the iPhone 5 will likely be discontinued ahead of the iPhone 5 launch. This news, which isn’t surprising seems to close the book on one of Apple’s most controversial products, according to 9 To 5 Mac.

Launched in June 2010 alongside the iPhone 4, the Bumpers are made of rubber and molded plastic and come in six colors. Almost from the start, however, consumers never warmed to the accessory with many feeling $29 for a piece of rubber was excessive.

The Bumpers became more famous, however, for being Apple’s solution to the so-called “antennagate” controversy that rocked the company in the summer of 2010.

Microsoft Shows Off Windows 8 – With Some Interesting Ideas

Today, Microsoft offered Build 2011 attendees a hands-on demonstration of its upcoming Windows 8 OS that is expected to launch in 2012. As a review, this version of Windows will eventually run on both desktops and upcoming tablets that will compete against Apple’s iPad.

While we haven’t personally gotten our hands on Windows 8, we’ve heard enough about it to know Apple could learn a few things from the team in Redmond, Washington.

Here are five things Apple could learn from Windows 8.

App News

Watch Out Flipboard, Google Propeller Set To Spin

One of the most popular and downloaded social news sharing apps for iPad, Flipboard, could soon get some significant competition. Google is said to be readying an app for iOS and Android called Propeller to take on the 2010 iPad App of the Year, according to Mashable.

According to Robert Scoble, writing on Google+, the tech giant is said to be working on a news-sharing reader that is describe by one as being “mind-blowing good.”

All Thing Digital’s Kara Swisher has also confirmed the new product, called Propeller.

The iPad Is Finally Becoming The Television We Knew It Would Be

The arrival of fall means finally saying goodbye to repeats and hello to first-run television episodes. With that in mind, three apps have arrived or been updated in recent days that makes television viewing on the iPad easier than ever.

It wasn’t that long ago that viewing “free” television on an iPad meant using the ABC app, which arrived on the same day as the iPad itself in 2010.

That, however, has changed.

The iPad has recently welcomed the TBS and TNT apps. In addition, the already-released NBC app now includes access to full episodes.