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T-Mobile employee blackout hints at Sept. 20 iPhone launch

One of Apple's most recent carrier partners T-Mobile may have just let the iPhone's launch date out of the bag with a reported employee vacation ban next month.

San Francisco Apple store line-goers in the early morning on the iPhone 4S launch day in October 2011.
San Francisco Apple store line-goers in the early morning on the iPhone 4S launch day in October 2011.
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

T-Mobile employees are reportedly being kept from logging any vacation time between September 20 through the 22nd, the same weekend Apple's next iPhones are expected to go on sale.

That's according to TmoNews, which citing unnamed sources, says it's likely iPhone related.

A T-Mobile spokesman declined to comment on the report, calling it rumor and speculation.

Employee blackouts can often times be a good indicator of when a major product is expected to launch. That was the case last August, when both Verizon and AT&T slated staff vacation blackoutsbeginning on September 21, which ended up being the same day the iPhone went on sale in nine countries.

In T-Mobile's case, the carrier only recently began offering Apple's iPhone to its customers, a move that boosted subscriber growth in the company's second quarter.

Apple is widely expected to debut its new phones at an event on September 10, with a release to follow shortly thereafter. The 20th would be the Friday on the week following Apple's rumored event date, and would match up with an earlier reportfrom Japan's Nikkei.

According to a report earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal, Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn has already begun production on two different iPhone models, ramping up devices in time for a launch in early September. For more on what to expect, read CNET's iPhone rumor roundup.