Apple has denied vacations to some of its retail chain employees for the last three weeks of January, perhaps indicating that the company is preparing for a product launch.
Apple Insider has revealed that sources within Apple say that the company has issued a 'black-out' notice for employees across its retail outlets, preventing them from taking any holidays.
This notice only applies to lower-level retail employees. The no-vacation period is likely to begin from the last week of January and will continue into the first half of February.
Apple has also decided to retain the temporary retail staff it had hired to deal with the Christmas holiday shopping rush, indicating that the company needs extra hands and is expecting a busy period in its stores.
Apple Insider has no firm details of what the new product might be, but rumour suggests that it could be a new iPhone, or a second-generation iPad, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2011.