Last week, a rumor claimed that Verizon employees had been told that a vacation blackout would be in effect for September 21-30, likely so that all workers would be available for the launch of the new iPhone. Now it looks like a similar blackout has been instituted for AT&T employees. According to an AT&T employee speaking to TechCrunch, the carrier is planning a vacation blackout for September 21-30, with the source going on to claim that workers are training for an "iconic release." This report comes a couple of weeks after a rumor from BGR claiming that AT&T is planning to release the new iPhone in "the third or fourth week of September," with an all-hands policy extending into October.
These rumors of AT&T and Verizon vacation blackouts line up with a report from July that claimed that Apple is planning to introduce the iPhone on September 12 and then launch it on September 21. Obviously none of this is official until Tim Cook and Co. make it so, but the rumors and noise pointing toward a late September release for Apple's next smartphone certainly seems to be building. As I've mentioned before, that'd put the launch of the new iPhone close to a year after the mid-October 2011 debut that the iPhone 4S, which fits nicely with the yearly launch cycle that Apple is fond of following with its iOS products. Now we just wait for Apple to send out invitations for its new iPhone event.
UPDATE: AT&T has denied the rumor of a late September vacation blackout to 9to5 Mac. The site adds that it's heard similar statements from AT&T reps at various stores, although those employees did seem to indicate that some locations may be scheduling more workers to come in during that time.