A new report claims Apple has informed its retail employees of a vacation “blackout” that will begin later this month. Citing unnamed people familiar with Apple’s retail plans, the report states that Apple is preventing all retail employees without seniority from taking vacation during a three-week period that will commence some time during the last week in January. The report also claims that Apple has retained excess staff hired during the holiday season. While unconfirmed, a vacation freeze of this kind coupled with increased retail staff would likely point to a major product launch, and the timing fits perfectly with rumors that the Verizon iPhone will launch some time between now and mid-February.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.