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Tuesday, May 06, 2008, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple to begin selling 3G iPhone in late June?

Apple Inc. may begin selling its next-generation iPhone handset sometime on or after the third week of June, hints a recent memo from AT&T to its retail staffers.

In the message to employees this week, the nation's No. 1 wireless carrier spoke of an "exciting Summer Promotional Launch" that will kick off next month and offer the opportunity for sales representatives to "soar" past their sales quotas.

"To ensure proper staffing during this period, Sales personnel planning to take approved time off are encouraged to schedule their vacations before June 15 or after July 12 to participate in the heavy selling period," the company wrote.

Almost one year ago to the date, AT&T made a similar request of its retail staff, announcing vacation blackout days from June 15 through July 15.

The carrier, alongside Apple, began selling the iPhone on June 29th at 6:00 p.m.

In the weeks leading up to last year's iPhone launch, AT&T went on to appoint addition part time staffers, hire crowd control, and acquire stanchions to corral patrons. It also announce a plan to close down its 1800 retail stores at around 4:00 p.m. on June 29th and reopen them again at 6:00 p.m. with iPhones on hand.

ATT Security Guard