Carriers and AppleCare Blocking Vacations During Release Date Window

Verizon, T-Mobile and now AppleCare employees have been put on notice that vacations during the third week of September are either blacked out or limited in nature. Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C at an iPhone special event taking place on Tuesday, September 10th. Based on our research that looked at the historical data tied to iPhone releases, it suggests Friday, September 20th as a likely release date. As we look closer at the information regarding employee vacation blackouts, there are different windows, all of which include the 20th.

employee vacation blackout dates

Earlier this week we had heard that T-Mobile had set vacation blackout dates for September 20th through September 22nd. There was some question that it could have been to support the Galaxy Note III launch, though unlikely. While that phone will have some traction, it’s not a release that would garner enough customer foot traffic warranting a vacation blackout.

An internal document obtained by AppleInsider provides a look at vacation options for AppleCare employees, the group that provides online and telephone support for Apple products. Their vacation options drop significantly on September 15th through the last Sunday of the month. With iOS 7 coming, Apple will see an influx of calls looking for support. Additionally, a new iPhone or two will also drive increased support calls.

Verizon is also said to be blocking vacation requests between September 18th and September, 22nd. While we have yet to hear release details on the upcoming iPhones, senior executives at the carriers would certainly know about Apple’s plans, so they can plan accordingly. Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and even Apple typically experience a surge in customers during iPhone release date windows. This would necessitate an increase in staff during these periods.

In 10 days, we expect Apple to announce two iPhones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. That date could also mark the release of iOS 7, the biggest change to the iOS since the first iPhone. The vast changes in iOS 7 alone would be reason enough to increase staffing. However, it’s clear based on carrier blackouts and historical data, that the third week of September could mark the release of the iPhone 5S. Specially, the chances of a September 20th, 2013 release date are looking increasingly more likely.

Source: AppleInsider, 1, 2

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