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AT&T Vacation Blackout Hints of iPhone 5 in September

Another day, another iPhone 5 launch rumor. AT&T is allegedly denying vacation requests for its employees in the last two weeks of September because of an "event blackout" that could potentially be the release of the next iPhone.

The rumor comes from an anonymous tip that an unconfirmed AT&T employee sent to Gizmodo on Friday.

"I'm an att employee and my boss just announced that vacation requests for the end of september will be denied due to an 'event blackout'. Historically the only time they've done this was for an iphone release. So we're looking at the last two weeks of september," the source said in an e-mail.

Blocked vacation requests typically go along with iPhone releases. Apple froze employee vacation requests in February ahead of the Verizon iPhone launch and just before the iPhone 4 was announced last year.

It seems all signs would point to a September launch for Apple's next smartphone. Earlier in the year Digitimes reported that the next iPhone was already in production and would ship in September. Others pointed out that when Apple broke its tradition of announcing a new phone at WWDC its September media event was the next likely window. AppleInsider reported that Apple said during a quarterly earnings call that it will undergo a "future product transition" around September -- perhaps another hint at the next iPhone coming this fall.

Of course, the problem with the latest rumor is that it comes from an anonymous tipster and could easily be fabricated. Even if AT&T is blocking vacation requests that doesn't necessarily mean it is for the release of the next iPhone. Who knows? Maybe AT&T is gearing up for the fall release of Hewlett-Packard's Pre 3.

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