What Are Apple Up To?

Something’s afoot.  Odd things are beginning to happen at a number of Apple Stores.  A lot of us realise that Apple are approaching their tenth anniversary of retail.  And some stores are beginning a blackout of windows.  The anniversary falls this Thursday, but I hear that a number of staff in each store have signed up for overnight shifts on Saturday/Sunday.  During this overnight shift, Apple staff have been asked to lock away their mobile phones and sign a non-disclosure agreement.  The stores have already received some hardware to install, and more is expected towards the end of the week.  This hardware is to remain locked up until the stores close on Saturday.  Employees must also download gigs-worth of data from Corporate Division (entitled ‘Training’) and this password-protected folder won’t be available to managers or anyone else until Saturday afternoon.

I have no idea what this could be.  From the outside, it looks like a big product launch, and if it is, they’ve kept this one close to their chest.  It won’t be an iPhone.  I can’t see it being a new music deal – even though Apple have been said to have signed a couple of new, big labels.  This is too much for all that.  A new Mac?  Another source says this is only a training event.

At the moment I’m not sure whether this is happening in the UK – it definitely is in the States.  I’ll keep my ear to the ground and update this thread if I hear any more …

*UPDATE*

It’s reported that Apple are going to bring NFC Payment Technology to its retails stores.  This could tie-in with the hardware and ‘training’ information.  It all comes days after it was reported that NFC won’t be part of the next iPhone.

Nothing to do with the above, but some wag from Phones4U in the UK has stated that iPhone 5 will be released on 21 November.  Yeah, right …

Another wag says the phone will have 8MP camera and CDMA-GSM chip.  It will begin production in Q3.

*UPDATE*

It really is nothing that exciting.  Apple Retail Staff are using iPad 2’s instore with the RetailMe software, replacing existing hardware to carry out transactions.

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