Five days. Just five more days to go until the March 2 Apple event, and still, the webs just can’t help but throw in a few more rumors.

• iOS 4.3 Gold Master to arrive on March 2: This one’s from BGR, and if it pans out, iOS geeks all over the land will finally be able to exhale, as all those betas will finally manifest a more polished version — all shiny and ready for its final pre-release phase. Ideally, notes the site, iOS 4.3 GM might bring the Verizon version of the iPhone iOS into the fold as well, which would be great. It’d be far less confusing for end users, that’s for sure.

• Forget iOS 4.3 — iOS 5 to get preview on March 2, with SDK available: Engadget believes that iOS 5 has an excellent chance of making a guest appearance next week, using language like “almost guaranteed.” Them’s pretty strong words, no? Thing is, it’s not based on anything concrete — the post only cites vague chatter (“We’re hearing [that]…”, etc), and that’s something that seems to get the site into hot water. (See below).

What’s most interesting to us is that several sites have been gossiping about Apple working on new notifications, so if it actually does show up next week, it could make for some extremely ecstatic iOS users (including us). We have our fingers crossed on this one.

• Carbon fiber body: Although Engadget was pretty convinced at first, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber wasn’t and still isn’t about this one. In fact, he blasted the site for boldly asserting that the iPad 2 would be made of carbon fiber, only to later undermine it by claiming that Apple changed plans at the last minute.

(It was actually within the same post that mentions the iOS 5 preview, above). Gruber’s POV? There were no last-minute changes. And this “reporting,” he says, is full of fail here: To begin with, it posted uncertain gossip as fact, which is a no-no. But instead of ‘fessing up, it made things worse by trying to cover up the gaffe with a lame story about an 11th hour change.

So yeah, Gruber flat-out called Engadget out on this. The interesting part is that, in doing so, he mentions that he also heard reports about the same thing. It was secondhand chatter from equally unsure sources, so he didn’t give credence to it, but he heard it nonetheless.

While some sites may be picking that apart, to try and figure out what it means, our advice is to just take that for what it’s worth — and don’t forget the enormous grains of salt to go with it.

And what about that little rumor about a 6-inch iPad coming in the fall? Well, we’re not going to have any absolute answers on that next week, or for quite a while actually, but we’re not holding our breath.

We think it’s a sure bet that some sort of iOS announcements will be made — at least iOS 4.3 if nothing else — but if Apple actually does start talking about iOS 5, what are you hoping to see? Let us know in the comments!

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