Major Product Launch for 10th Apple Retail Anniversary?

According to a slew of rumors, Apple might soon introduce a new product, ten years after the first two Apple Stores opened in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and Glendale, California, on May 19, 2001. For the occasion, Apple will hold an all-hands staff meeting at all its retail locations, on Sunday, May 22, in order to brief employees about the launch of the new product, which could be anything from a revamped MobileMe, to an unknown device. According to BGR, Apple is a lot more secretive than usual about the event, and is even asking its own employees to sign non-disclosure agreements, in order to prevent potential leaks.
  • There’s an overnight shift planned for around 10-15 individuals at each Apple Store to work from late Saturday all the way through mid-Sunday.
  • During the overnight shift, it’s going to be required that employees lock cell phones in the main office. They will also have to sign an NDA with Apple.
  • There are a wide variety of roles, we’re told, for the overnight shift. This includes all visuals staff, a manager, a business team member, a few Genius team members, one back-of-house employee, and a few generic Apple specialists.
  • Apple stores have apparently already received hardware to install, and are expecting more hardware to come on Friday or Saturday. All materials that Apple stores have received have been instructed to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night.
  • Apple employees will be putting up black curtains at all stores so that people walking outside cannot see inside.
  • Employees have had to download gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled, “training” in a password-protected zipped folder that won’t accessible to managers or anyone else until Saturday afternoon.
  • Lastly, all Apple retail stores have mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22nd. Most meeting are scheduled for the morning, but there are evening meetings as well.
So what is Apple planning? At this stage, nobody knows, but given the unusually high level of security, expect something big from Apple.