Verizon, AT&T Vacation Blackouts Hint at Sept. 21 Launch for iPhone 5

September 21st:  in history, it was the day that The Hobbit was published and the Galileo probe was crushed like a soda can by Jupiter’s atmosphere. September 21st is the birthday of Stephen King, H.G Wells and Ricki Lake. This year, September 21st is widely rumored to be the day that could be just as momentous to some people: the day the iPhone 5 hits streets nationwide.

Apple never comments on speculation and rumors, but “a trusted Verizon employee” has told TechCrunch that the carrier has issued an all-staff vacation blackout from September 21st to the 30th. Last week, another trusted source told Boy Genius Report that AT&T is shuffling schedules and implementing a similar “all-hands-on-deck policy” from the third week in September through the middle of October. Coincidence?

Apple is expected to officially announce the iPhone 5 at a major press event on September 12th and open up pre-orders the same day. The rumored iPad mini could also be unveiled at the event.

Several signs point to the iPhone 5 having a larger, thinner 4-inch display that uses in-cell LCD technology, 4G LTE, a new dock connector and more, all of which you can read about in our iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup. The image above could show the handset’s exterior, as iLab Factory claims that it was cobbled together using iPhone 5 components that have worked their way into Chinese repair shops.

Image credit via iLab Factory

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