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AT&T is reportedly planning for the iPhone 5 release with excessive attention to detail and all that will be required to make the mad rush a seamless experience for those looking to obtain what is poised to become the hottest smartphone release since... well, the last-gen iPhone was released in 2010. Following the lead of Apple and Sprint (which have reportedly blocked employee vacation time within the release zone), AT&T has begun doing the same. One source at an AT&T retail location in downtown Chicago, Illinois confirms the vacation blackout period to me, which spans the first two weeks of October, beginning October 3rd, the eve of the iPhone 5 introduction. At this time, however, it isn't clear if the iPhone 5 will be available for purchase at AT&T the following day, later in the week, or at another time. With regard to Sprint, which is supposedly getting the iPhone next month here in the US, we can't yet confirm if the iPhone 5 will arrive on the Sprint network this year. Several conflicting reports suggest that the iPhone 4 will arrive first with the iPhone 5 to follow in early 2012.
Another logical reason for the reportedly over-the-top preparations being made by AT&T is that Apple may release more than one new iPhone. More specifically, we've heard so many rumblings about a possible low-end iPhone 4 model (maybe the iPhone 4S) that it makes sense for AT&T to carefully plan for the customer rush that could easily overwhelm an inadequately prepped retail outlet. This article originally appeared on ModMyi and has been republished with permission.