For all the skeptical minds who doubt the mid-September launches of the new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and the redesigned iOS 7, here are some more inklings straight from the horse’s mouth — the company has reportedly cut down vacation times for its AppleCare employees for a two-week period, ahead of the highly expected product releases next month.
According to a report from AppleInsider on Friday, an internal company document has allegedly revealed that the time offs available for AppleCare employees have been cut down significantly from Sept. 15 to 28 — a span, which encompasses the expected Sept. 20 release date for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The revamped iOS 7 is also rumored to be released in the third week of September, following a widely anticipated unveiling on Sept. 10 at the media event for the new iPhones.
The AppleInsider report said that iOS 7, which has many new features and a completely redesigned user interface compared to the previous versions of the platform, may initially create confusions among new users. To cope with an expected influx of customer inquiries, Apple would like to have enough employees available not only during the launch, but a full week after that.
A recent report from 9to5Mac said that Apple has begun training for AppleCare employees on support issues related to iOS 7. The report claimed that Apple wants the training to be completed by the second week of September as the company has been planning to launch the new OS in the middle of the following week.
Besides Apple, major carriers in the U.S. have also reportedly announced employee vacation blackouts around the same period next month. While AT&T (NYSE:T) has blacked out employee vacations for the second half of September, T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) has canceled vacations for its store employees between Sept. 20 and Sept. 22. Verizon has also reportedly blocked retail employees from requesting vacations from Sept. 18 to 22.
Meanwhile, reports said that the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant is currently asking developers to submit larger app icons, optimized for the new iOS 7 resolutions. Here is an excerpt from Apple’s email communication to a developer, obtained by 9to5Mac:
‘Invalid Image – For iOS applications, icons included in the binary submission must be in the PNG format.
– If your application supports the iPhone device family, you must include square icons of the following dimensions: 57×57 pixels and 120×120 pixels.
– If your application supports the iPad device family, you must include square icons of the following dimensions: 72×72 pixels, 76×76 pixels and 152×152 pixels.’
According to rumors, the iPhone 5S will likely feature a fingerprint sensor embedded in the traditional home button, an A7 processor that is 31 percent faster than its predecessor, motion-tracking capability and an upgraded camera with a dual-LED flash component. The handset is also rumored to be available in “champagne” and “graphite” color options.
The so-called low-cost iPhone 5C is expected to sport a plastic shell, which is rumored to be offered in multiple color options. The device is rumored to feature the same 4-inch form factor of the iPhone 5, but with older components to keep the cost down.