According to TmoNews, T-Mobile is planning on vacation blackout dates for September 20th through September 22nd. Of course, we’re expecting Apple will announce new iPhones on Tuesday, September 10th. Using Apple’s iPhone release history, we’ve triangulated that same Friday, September 20th as a likely iPhone 5S release date.
Samsung is preparing to announce the Note III in early September, so a release date in that same window as the rumored blackout seems plausible. Samsung has had a good amount of success with the Note, but it’s hard to fathom that it would be the cause for an employee vacation blackout. Carriers have in the past blocked vacation request during an iPhone launch. Imagine a launch with two iPhones, that would require an all hands on deck scenario for T-Mobile and others.
The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 all had Friday release dates. On this week’s edition of the everythingiCafe podcast, Marianne Schultz suggests the decision to go with Friday releases could be to make it convenient for people to get time off and who doesn’t enjoy a three-day weekend.
Our expectations are that Apple will announce the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5S will replace the iPhone 5, with the older model possibly getting phased out. Apple could position it at the $99 price point, but that seems unlikely. While this year’s model will certainly see improvements in speed, optics and a might include a fingerprint scanner, leaving the iPhone 5 in the lineup could cause a fair amount of competition for these new devices. You’d see customers making the jump to from the iPhone 5C and down from the iPhone 5S.
This latest news is just one more reason to circle September 20th on your calendar. Once we get final confirmation, likely no earlier than on the 10th, we’ll of course pass it along.