Most Apple leaks tend not to come from inside Cupertino but via partners and it looks like AT&T - the iPhone's official network in the US - has just given away a doozy...
In an nationwide email to all its staff the telco has informed them that during 15 June to 12 July it anticipates "heavier than normal customer traffic in our stores providing an excellent earning opportunity for every front line retail sales consultant (RSC) in company owned retail stores." Consequently no staffers can book vacation time during this period. Yep, we're thinking what you're thinking.
This isn't the first time AT&T has done this either. Last year for the original iPhone launch it again banned hols between 15 June and 15 July "to give everyone an equal opportunity to benefit from an exciting product launch". This time it says a similar boost is expected due to another "exciting Summer Promotional Launch to enable your sales to soar."
A 3G iPhone launch during this time sounds fairly on the money to us - unless the network has something else up its sleeve larger than a 3G iPhone launch and wants all its employees sipping cocktails in Bermuda when Apple's handset finally arrives...
Nah, we don't think so either. Here's that email in full:
To: All Employees
Last year at this time we asked that all vacations be scheduled before June 15 or after July 15, to ensure adequate store staffing and to give everyone an equal opportunity to benefit from an exciting product launch. Thanks to your hard work, we experienced excellent sales during the mid-summer period. This year, the numbers you produced in 2007 will be hard to beat; but as a business, we must rise to the challenge, and make every effort to exceed last year's sales results. Your management team is counting on you!
We'll meet the challenge "head-on" by providing an exciting Summer Promotional Launch to enable your sales to soar. We again anticipate heavier than normal customer traffic in our stores, providing an excellent earning opportunity for every front line retail sales consultant (RSC) in company owned retail stores.
To ensure proper staffing during this period, Sales personnel planning to take approved time off are encouraged to schedule their vacations before June 15 or after July 12 to participate in the heavy selling period
Previously approved vacation will be allowed where voluntary rescheduling is not feasible
No additional vacation will be approved for 6/15 - 7/12
If customer traffic is manageable, there may be an opportunity to approve vacation toward the end of the period. Managers will communicate updates as they become available.
As for a UK launch? Well, our 3G networks are far more widespread than those in the US so hopefully a simultaneously/closely-followed release can be expected this time… please!
In related news developers start your engines: iPhone SDK beta 5 has just been released. Grab it while it's hot!