It's been widely reported that Apple is planning a special surprise for their retail store's tenth anniversary. There are a few things that are going on that weekend. It's said that Apple will have store employees lock away their mobile phones in the offices for 24 hours. Let's take a look at some of the rumors we've been hearing and what this weekend may mean for Apple Stores.
1) Employees Have to Hand Over Their Phones for 24 hours
This shows that whatever it is, it's a huge secret and Apple doesn't want some employee going rogue and spilling the news before Apple is ready to announce it. Apple probably knows it will happen anyway, but they are doing their best to keep any leaks from happening this week.
2) Meetings to be Held Over the Weekend
All Apple stores will hold mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22. According to reports. Some of these are scheduled for the morning, but others are scheduled for the evening. It may be for a bit of training on some new product or service.
3) Training Software or Videos?
Employees have downloaded gigabytes worth of data from corporate. It's labeled "training" and is in a password-protected zipped folder. Nobody will have access to it until Saturday afternoon.
Image from Sean Percival/flickr
4) Black Curtains
Whatever it is. It's one of Apple's black curtain events. This means they literally pull black curtains over the windows so that no one can see in. Employees will work overnight to stock the store with the new product or do whatever setup they need in order prepare for whatever it is they have planned. It's also rumored that they already have hardware ready to install. Whether this means new computers or products, or a new look for the retail stores is not clear.
1) NFC Tech?
This morning it was reported that the Apple Stores may receive an update that gives them access to NFC technology. The report was by BGR, and they have been pretty reliable with Apple rumors in the past. However, Gizmodo has updated their story to mention that their sources tell them otherwise. This would mean that the iPhone 5 may do NFC after all.
The rumored iCloud? Maybe, but how much hardware would they need to install? Perhaps the stores are getting a cool new makeover to announce and show off the service, but it's all unknown at this time. This would probably just mean that they are updating the look of their stores. This would mean the updated, cloud-based iTunes and some teases at iOS 5 or the next MobileMe.
Its hard to say at this point. However, we haven't heard Apple themselves come out and tease any sort of 'surprise' so it's important to remember that. So far, this is all speculation started with a rumor on BGR. Granted, they have been great sources in the past. We just don't want to say, "Hey everybody! Get excited!" when it turns out to be nothing more than a little makeover for the insides of the retail locations. Nothing official from Apple has come out, and somehow we have a feeling that people will be disappointed when they read that it's nothing more than a little redecorating.