Apple could be scaling up for some birthday celebrations, with staff reportedly told they they can't request vacation days between May 20 and May 22. According to AppleInsider's sources, and speculation around the dates by ifoAppleStore, the company is believed to be most likely celebrating its 10 year anniversary of bricks & mortar Apple Stores, the first of which opened on May 19 2001.
Store managers are reportedly "very excited" about these particular dates, but what the actual event might be is unclear. Some sort of crowd-attraction is supposedly on the cards, though whether that will include a product launch remains to be seen.
The timing, however, doesn't seem to imply that would be the case. May is too early for the iPhone 5, the launch of which isn't expected until early Q3 2011, while Apple's iPod refresh is expected in September. The long-awaited next-gen Sandy Bridge Core 2011 processor update for the iMac range is unlikely to prompt sufficient excitement to demand a vacation black-out.
Instead, Apple could be planning to use its generally spacious and inviting Apple Store locations to host public events, perhaps with some sort of discount or accessory program similar to the company's Black Friday deals.