We have just been informed that Apple has started sending out mandatory vacation blackout notices to Apple Stores, barring employees from taking vacation. We’re told that managers have blackout dates of February 5th through the 18th, and employees can’t go on vacation or have days off during that timeframe either due to the launch of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4. In addition, there will be extended hours during that time period to accomodate the anticipated increase in foot traffic. It sure looks like Apple and Verizon are preparing to move a million units first week…
BGR has confirmed with a source close to Apple that the company has blacked out employee vacation requests between February 3rd and February 6th — Thursday through Sunday. The four-day vacation freeze has been confirmed to be in effect in several regions in the United States. A recent report suggested the vacation black-out would cover a period of three weeks beginning in late January and extending into February, which still could be true in some regions.
Back in June of last year, Apple picked the dates of 24th to the 27th for its iPhone 4 weekend launch — also a Thursday through Sunday. In addition, Verizon Wireless typically launches new devices on Thursdays. While BGR has not yet confirmed that the Verizon iPhone is the device we’ll see debut on the 3rd, the timing lines up very well with previous reports; no other Apple products have been rumored to be launching in this time frame.
One of our Apple sources has been communicating some internal Apple information to us, and from what we’ve been told, this weekend could be big. Currently, if you go to an Apple retail store and can’t find an iPad or iPhone 4, Apple will offer the ability to reserve one for you. These are “Priority Lists” and contain your name and information in addition to the specific device and configuration you want. These lists allow Apple to determine how to manage their channel inventory or possibly ramp up on production. Here’s the big news we’ve been told… Apple is apparently incredibly interested in clearing out these waiting lists, and if our tipster is correct, they’re aiming to do it by this weekend. We have been told that stores have lists that could be anywhere from 500 to 1500 or more customers waiting for iPhones, and anywhere from 250 to 750 customers waiting for iPads. Apparently all Apple stores have asked employees for an “all hands on deck” approach this weekend, somewhat similar to that of Apple product launch days. We have even been informed that Apple stores might open early on Sunday to accommodate extra traffic. Lastly, our source let us know that clearing out these lists could result in the sale of up to an additional 500,000 to 1,000,000 iOS devices in just a few short days.
Thanks, Lindsey S.!
One of our connects just hit us up with some intriguing Apple information. According to them, what you see detailed above is a shot of Apple’s yearly Black Friday deals. It’s reported to be something Apple will email out shortly. This time around, it looks as if Apple will be offering up to 30% off on all iPods (Update: excluding iPhone and iPod shuffle, sorry), up to 25% off Macs, and up to 15% off all accessories as well as Apple software and hardware. The deal is only good for the day of November 27th and if that’s not good enough, “select” Apple stores will open at 6AM. This is unconfirmed but it doesn’t seem too unrealistic. Thoughts?