Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will restrict vacation days for its retail-store employees in September, suggesting that the company could launch the iPhone 6, its next-generation flagship smartphone, in that month, according to a new report.
Apple's retail-store employees in Germany have been barred from taking vacations in September, iFun.de, a German website, reported Wednesday, adding that it has “little doubt” that the information is reliable. Although Apple has not made any announcement about the move, it should not be a surprise if the information turns out to be true because the company restricted vacation time for AppleCare employees from Sept. 15 to Sept. 28 last year for the launches of its iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 in that time period. The iPhone 5 in 2012 was also launched in September.
The only difference this time around is Apple's move to block off employee vacation dates four months in advance while it used to do so only weeks before a new product is unveiled. While the current rumor is only about Apple’s employees in Germany, the move is expected to be enacted at the company’s other stores across the world as the iPhone-maker is rumored to be preparing for the iPhone 6's release.
The majority of reports over the past few months have suggested that Apple could release the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 in September, while the larger 5.5-inch model could launch toward the end of this year or in early 2015 due to issues related to the device’s production. In addition to a larger screen size, the new iPhone 6 is rumored to feature a thinner form factor, a faster A8 processor and an enhanced rear camera with either optical or electronic image stabilization.
However, Reuters pointed toward a report from Taiwanese media last week, suggesting that the California tech giant could debut the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 as soon as in August and follow up with a bigger model in September, which could be a change in strategy for the company that has launched the past three versions of its flagship smartphone in September or October.
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However, if Apple sticks to its traditional launch pattern, it could unveil iOS 8 at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June, launch the iPhone 6 in September and follow up with new iPad models in October, AppleInsider reported.