Over at Business Insider, Dylan Love asks, how long will we have to wait to buy the new iPhone? He points out that the first iPhone was announced in January 2007, and shipped 171 days later, while the iPhone 3G 32 days after announcement. Additionally the iPhone 3GS 11 days after its announcement, and the iPhone 4, 14 days after.
Numerous Apple retail employees have tipped TUAW, all repeating the same information: employee leave requests have been blacked out from Oct 9th through the 16th due to product launch.
Based on past sale patterns, TUAW guesses that the employees will be trained during the week and that Apple will offer in-store pickup on the weekend of the 14th-16th. Of course, Apple may offer the unit sooner. Online sales, too, may begin immediately with shipping dates following.
Regardless of the actual mechanisms of sale, TUAW believes the 9-16th blackout dates are probably accurate.