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SHHHH! “Secret” Apple Store Roll-Out on Sunday.

Just a few days after the 10th Anniversary of Apple’s first retail store, our favorite Cupertino-based, fruit-themed computer company seems to be planning something.

According to several rumors sites, there have been a number of “suspicious” activities from the Apple camp:

  • Overnight shifts for Saturday night have been assigned—and they require a cell-phone lockout and an NDA!
  • Mysterious packages of equipment arriving at the retail stores.
  • Large amounts (in the GB range) of password-protected data labeled “training” have been downloaded from Apple corporate.
  • Mandatory staff meetings at all Apple Stores on Sunday, mostly in the AM.

As it always is within the Apple ecosystem, whenever Cupertino makes some “secretive” moves, the conspiracies start flying. This instance is no exception; the theories being bandied about include:

  • iPad-based POS System – This is entirely possible. Apple recently updated to using iPhones/iPod Touches for the stores’ sales floor. An iPad could make for an interesting approach – using larger images for products, etc.
  • “Setup Stations” Replacing the Genius Bar – As we mentioned in OWC Radio #54, Apple has been moving more towards a focus on “personalized setup.” The equipment that’s arrived could be stations where Apple staffers can help a new user get things set up and ready to use, rather than at the Genius Bar itself.
  • iCloud – We all know Apple has that gigantic data center in North Carolina, and there have been rumblings about this service for a while now. Plus, there was a significant “burp” in service to an extremely large number of MobileMe subscribers earlier this week. Perhaps somebody threw a switch, and these were the people who had slipped through the net.
  • Early Release of OS X 10.7. Lion – It’s possible Lion is just about done, and the level of secrecy around this whole thing is about right for a surprise OS release. However, with WWDC coming in just a couple of weeks, it would be a bit of a raspberry to developers hoping for a final SDK at the conference.

So what’s do you think is hiding in those boxes behind the hose black curtains? Whether your theories are probable, plausible, possible, or just plain ludicrous, we’d love to hear ‘em!

M. Chris Stevens
the authorOWC Chris S.
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  • @ mc226 – “Like” lol

    I’d download it! :D

    Hey OWCChris, Any way to add a ‘like’ button so we can share with our FB friends when we’re amused by some comments on the blog? :) Just a thought!

    • thanks :D i was just at one of the local retail stores today – no pizzas. maybe OWC can help.

  • So Sunday came and went: nothing.
    (Mass speculation across the interwebs about nothing finished.)

  • a new iOS app – iSnack for iPad; training downloads for employees at the genius bar to convert ipads into small microwave platforms. the packaging delivered to the retail stores were little organic pizzas and crisper trays.

  • My guesses are as follows….

    Apple 3d media/gaming system!!!!
    I think that they’re planning a home media centerpiece.

    They’ve been acquiring technology and patenting things that indicate a new 3d game system.
    Sorry I don’t have proof that I can brinig to mind right now.

    Also, I think that iCloud will replace mobileMe and bring us new innovative capabilities. Online storage with super speeds, leading the way for use of the superfast broadband that we’re beginning to see.

    Those are my guesses.

  • To get you all started, I’m going to focus on the ludicrous…

    Apple will announce that since OS X is making the (unfortunate) move towards a more iOS interface, they’ve decided to chuck the whole thing and make what would have been “Lion” the first complete merging of iOS and OS X. All screens—iMacs, MacBooks, Mac Pros, iPhones and iPads alike—will be showing this “iOS X” and interacting seamlessly thanks to the iCloud interface.

    The extra packaging, however, isn’t new hardware or setup stations; it contained armored barricades to protect them from real Mac OS X power users like myself who, enraged at being stuck using some watered-down interface if they want to use newer software like Final Cut Pro X, try to storm the Apple Stores in bloody revolution.

    Hmm… maybe I should lay off the caffeine.