Is AT&T Preparing for NEW iPhone or the FIRST iPad Mini?

AT&T (NYSE:T) is said to have blacked out vacation dates for employees starting September 21, following an identical report from Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and further hinting that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) anticipated next-generation iPhone will be hitting store shelves that same day.

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TechCrunch reports the company has blocked employees from taking vacation between September 21 and September 30, the same dates blacked out by Verizon. Apple is expected to announce the sixth-generation iPhone at an event on September 12, and news of the vacation blackouts at the iPhone’s two largest carriers is in keeping with previous launches, which usually follow new product announcements by one to two weeks.

According to an anonymous source, AT&T employees are also undergoing training for an “iconic release.” And further bolstering the story, September 21 happens to be a Friday, a day Apple traditionally reserves for product releases following a Tuesday announcement the week prior. Last year, the company announced the iPhone 4S on Tuesday, October 4, ahead of a rollout on Friday, October 14.

Unlike last year’s iPhone launch, though, Apple is expected to begin taking pre-orders the day the device is announced, as it did with the third-generation iPad’s debut in March.

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