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Apple schedules secret retail employee meeting ahead of possible media event

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Apple has asked its retail employees to sign non-disclosure agreements ahead of an all-hands meeting likely to be held later this week, AppleInsider has been told [updated with new details].

People familiar with the company's retail plans revealed that Apple employees on Monday were asked to sign non-disclosure forms. Those who did not sign are said to be excluded from the next employee meeting, expected to be held in the next week.

Those privy to Apple's brick-and-mortar businesses indicated the meeting was originally scheduled for last week. But the meeting was apparently pushed back for one week, for reasons unknown.

According to Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore.com, Apple typically holds its all-team meetings at the company's retail stores after closing on Sunday evenings.

Update: Since the initial story was filed, AppleInsider has received additional suggestions that the all-hands meeting is likely related to a new in-store initiative or service.

Numerous signs have indicated that Apple has imminent plans to refresh its MacBook Pro line of notebooks. But those products are widely believed to debut on Thursday to coincide with Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs' birthday, and prior to the expected employee meeting on Sunday.

The news of the non-disclosure agreement comes as pundit Robert X. Cringely confidently began his latest column on Monday with: "Next week Apple will have a product event." Cringely presumes the event will be used to introduce new MacBook Pro models with Intel's high-speed Light Peak technology.

But in the event that the new MacBook Pro launch occurs as expected on Thursday, the most likely subject for a presumed Apple media event would be the anticipated second-generation iPad. Numerous reports have suggested that Apple began production of the "iPad 2" in early 2011, on track for a launch by early April, which would mark one year since the first-generation device went on sale in the U.S.

The next iPad is expected to have a camera for FaceTime video chat, as well as a faster processor with more RAM and improved graphics performance. Third-party cases claimed to fit the second-generation iPad have also included space for a mystery port that could mean a built-in Mini DisplayPort for video out.
post #2 of 47
...or it could mean that the latest refresh/unveil will actually be next Tuesday instead of Thursday. Why was this not discussed as an option? Are we that certain that it will be this week?
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post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by willmtaylor View Post

...or it could mean that the latest refresh/unveil will actually be next Tuesday instead of Thursday. Why was this not discussed as an option? Are we that certain that it will be this week?

Shipping times for MacBook Pros have shifted to 3-5 days almost worldwide. If it's not this week, Apple is definitely loosing sales.
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Shipping times for MacBook Pros have shifted to 3-5 days almost worldwide. If it's not this week, Apple is definitely loosing sales.

Nobody is "loosing" anything. The average Joe who doesn't follow Apple is not looking at Macbook Pros and screaming 3-5 days! Screw that.
post #5 of 47
At least that is my hope. I just see major redesigns for all of Apple product lines. One might say all the stars are in alignment!

However to be honest I'm not convinced with respect to a birthday delivery. It just seems out of character for Apple. Then again it might cheer up Steve while going through his sickness
post #6 of 47
My vote is for the Macbook Pros to be released without a media event on Thursday and for the iPad 2 to come to market via a media event soon after.
post #7 of 47
I hope there is a media event to usher in many new changes in MBP design.


Quote:
Originally Posted by willmtaylor View Post

...or it could mean that the latest refresh/unveil will actually be next Tuesday instead of Thursday. Why was this not discussed as an option? Are we that certain that it will be this week?

...or it could mean that the latest refresh/unveil will actually be next Wednesday instead of Thursday. Why was this not discussed as an option? Are we that certain that all updates have to appear on a Tuesday despite evidence to the contrary?
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

My vote is for the Macbook Pros to be released without a media event on Thursday and for the iPad 2 to come to market via a media event soon after.

I'll vote for this as well.
post #9 of 47
I've become addicted to watching these rumors and comments. I love all of my MacBook Pros. 2.33 GHz Pro, 2.4 GHz BlackBook, 2.4 GHz 15" 2010.

Y'all know Intel still makes Core 2 Duo chips and will continue to do so for a while. They are not all discontinued and they are not obsolete for what Apple uses them for.

They didn't spend a lot of R&D perfecting the unibody frame to abandon in two years later.

Apple will lose the optical drive when the time is right. I used an external 3.5 floppy drive for about a year until that transition was over. Then it was Iomega zip-drives, then burning CDs and DVDs. USB Flash drive will give over to "light peak" Flash drives to who knows. It will transition well without the foreseen doomsday prophesies. I burned my hundreds of music CDs into iTunes but I do that at home. External would still work. How about solid state music/movie playback? We live in cool times. Servo motors are one of the greatest inventions ever but lets use them in robots and stop spinning motors with limited battery reserve.

This update seems like the most agonizing one yet for some reason. Look how tempers flair. Can't wait. Refreshing Apple Store regularly even today.

Happy Birthday Steve and Get Well Soon. Thanks and God Bless.
post #10 of 47
As far as making Apple employees sign an NDA, this seems a bit odd to me. In the past it seems as though Apple employees (retail and tech support, etc.) did not have any info until after the keynote/announcement. Since they are reportedly doing this, then it sounds like they will be getting some juicy info ahead of time, maybe some new product training. I just wonder what kind of training. Unless the MacBook pros are significantly different, I can't see training being needed. Likewise for the iPad...it can't be that different, can it? Now I am very curious.
post #11 of 47
Signing an NDA for a laptop refresh seems a bit extreme.

Something just doesn't seem right...

I can see how they wanted to do an event for when they changed to the unibody design bec/ they were proud of the process and it was kinda revolutionary for manufacturing this type of product.

Which makes me think they are introducing something new to the general consumer that needs to be explained - like lightpeak, perhaps?
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post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

Nobody is "loosing" anything. The average Joe who doesn't follow Apple is not looking at Macbook Pros and screaming 3-5 days! Screw that.

No, but if Apple is actually running out of stock on all the current-gen MacBooks right now but want to release the new MacBooks next week instead of this thursday, they would change the shipping time to '10 business days' instead of '3-5', because 'the average Joe' will get pretty pissed off if he orders a MacBook now, but doesn't get it until after next week.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zendolphyn View Post

Signing an NDA for a laptop refresh seems a bit extreme.

Something just doesn't seem right...

I can see how they wanted to do an event for when they changed to the unibody design bec/ they were proud of the process and it was kinda revolutionary for manufacturing this type of product.

Which makes me think they are introducing something new to the general consumer that needs to be explained - like lightpeak, perhaps?

Do you think LightPeak really needs to be explained? Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not know much about it, but it just sounds like a much faster method/port for data transfer (unless I am missing something). I am pretty technically minded, but I don't really need a special event for this. Just list on the product page and on the new product box how many times faster it is, and that's all most people need or want. Most people won't even know why they should care. I can't imagine this headlining an announcement. Maybe a small bullet point, but most of America will not be getting an upgraded MacBook pro just for lightpeak.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

No, but if Apple is actually running out of stock on all the current-gen MacBooks right now but want to release the new MacBooks next week instead of this thursday, they would change the shipping time to '10 business days' instead of '3-5', because 'the average Joe' will get pretty pissed off if he orders a MacBook now, but doesn't get it until after next week.

Indeed, I would be pissed to see new MBP the day I come pick up my new "old" one at the store. I wonder if the order can be cancel if that happens.
post #15 of 47
guys, another website claims that sandy bridge macbook pro won't be available till next thursday at the earliest. This means that possibly the meeting is about the new macbook pro. Also, I think that a potential reason the meeting may have been pushed back, is that maybe apple was waiting on intel for its sandy bridge processors.

http://3anime.com/apple-mac-book-pro...-in-march/2027
post #16 of 47
Is Apple really likely to add Light Peak to their hardware before it is even a legitimate connection option? Perhaps those who were in the Apple camp way-back-when can comment: how soon after the USB specification was finalized did Apple add it to their computers and start pushing it as the standard? How many peripherals actually used USB at the time?
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Indeed, I would be pissed to see new MBP the day I come pick up my new "old" one at the store. I wonder if the order can be cancel if that happens.

I have heard in the past Apple has often silently upgraded computers that were scheduled to arrive at someone's door after a changeover had happened.

Can anyone else confirm that?
post #18 of 47
product
service--cloud
or God forbid SJ health issue

i'll say, SJ and apple with many products and roll outs over a year, now gets tight seems every quarter something BIG and NEW is happening

we have
MBP
iPad ll
Cloud itunes, et al
iPHone 5
AND THATS JUST TILL JUNE!!!

and there are always surprises

if i had a place to park my media, i wouldn't need so much HD in my MB

you know if mobile me was free without cloud storage
or i "own" a part for typical yearly fee i'd jump

if my media can stream like slingbox that would be fine if i could get dvr capability on my macs then i have a total solution
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post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Is Apple really likely to add Light Peak to their hardware before it is even a legitimate connection option? Perhaps those who were in the Apple camp way-back-when can comment: how soon after the USB specification was finalized did Apple add it to their computers and start pushing it as the standard? How many peripherals actually used USB at the time?

It seems to me Apple took the USB plunge very early on when they released the first iMac (sans floppy drive). I bought one of these first iMacs for my sister at the time and I remember not knowing what USB was. Likewise, the printer I bought for her the same day had to be exchanged because it was a serial printer and not USB. The CompUSA employees didn;t even know to warn me about USB connectivity, of course this was likely due to their lack of Mac knowledge.

Also, Apple was one of the first to use Firewire, and Displayport before they became standard, of course they pioneered both connections. But, LightPeak is also one of their innovations as well. It could definitely happen. But, I still don't see this being worthy of an event.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

As far as making Apple employees sign an NDA, this seems a bit odd to me. In the past it seems as though Apple employees (retail and tech support, etc.) did not have any info until after the keynote/announcement. Since they are reportedly doing this, then it sounds like they will be getting some juicy info ahead of time, maybe some new product training. I just wonder what kind of training. Unless the MacBook pros are significantly different, I can't see training being needed. Likewise for the iPad...it can't be that different, can it? Now I am very curious.

Indeed, having employees signing an NDA for the release of a new MacBook Pro or even a new iPad is questionnable. I think it's for something different or Apple will disappoint us again like the day they had The Beatles on iTunes.
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_K View Post

Indeed, having employees signing an NDA for the release of a new MacBook Pro or even a new iPad is questionnable. I think it's for something different or Apple will disappoint us again like the day they had The Beatles on iTunes.

Apple didn't disappoint you with The Beatles announcement, you choose to be disappointed. If you read sites that post any and every rumor you need to not allow yourself to be drawn into these rumors as if they come from Apple.

For me, The Beatles on iTunes was inconsequential news, but I wasn't disappointed with Apple for being led on.
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zendolphyn View Post

Signing an NDA for a laptop refresh seems a bit extreme.

Something just doesn't seem right...

I can see how they wanted to do an event for when they changed to the unibody design bec/ they were proud of the process and it was kinda revolutionary for manufacturing this type of product.

Which makes me think they are introducing something new to the general consumer that needs to be explained - like lightpeak, perhaps?

Even lightpeak does not justify signing an NDA.
It's either something totally new or Apple believe its own hype.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Do you think LightPeak really needs to be explained?

Was just a thought. I'm in same boat as you - I've heard about lightpeak in the tech blogs lately but don't know much about it. I was just saying that there must be something going on bigger than a simple refresh.

The meeting and NDA just has lightpeaked my curiosity more than normal .... <insert groan here>
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post #24 of 47
Apple has asked its retail employees to sign non-disclosure agreements ......... AppleInsider has been told.

So, until now, Apple retail employees have not been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements?
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Apple didn't disappoint you with The Beatles announcement, you choose to be disappointed. If you read sites that post any and every rumor you need to not allow yourself to be drawn into these rumors as if they come from Apple.

For me, The Beatles on iTunes was inconsequential news, but I wasn't disappointed with Apple for being led on.

C'mon the day before the annoucement, Apple themselves wrote on their website it would be a day we would never forget. I was not allowing myself to get thrilled on rumors. It came from Apple first. It was not a rumor. They built a hype and the only thing we don't forget is how a non-event this has been.

Don't get me wrong, I like the Beatles. But based on how Apple announced them on iTunes, it's not stupid to think that all this NDA stuff is part of another hype thing. A new MB or iPad does not justify an NDA but the Cupertino firm could go down that low.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

No, but if Apple is actually running out of stock on all the current-gen MacBooks right now but want to release the new MacBooks next week instead of this thursday, they would change the shipping time to '10 business days' instead of '3-5', because 'the average Joe' will get pretty pissed off if he orders a MacBook now, but doesn't get it until after next week.

But the original post was about "losing orders", which I doubt. It's not as if someone who decided to by a Mac is going to go buy a Windows machine if they have to wait a few days to get a Mac. Maybe a very small number, at most. And this is one place where ordering direct from Apple has an advantage. It'll be much easier to trade in the old model if the new model as been released by the time you pick it up.

As to the questions people have raised about Lightpeak needing explaining. I can see that Apple Store employees would need additional training to address customers questions. Especially if Apple has done something like drop Firewire to make room for a Lightpeak connection. The employees will need to be familiar with the technology and be able to answer questions and concerns from customers.

Is that enough to need an NDA? Maybe not. But if there are further changes, like dropping the optical drive and including a hybrid SSD/hard drive storage system as some rumors suggest, it may be a big enough set of changes to warrant Apple wanting to have one big reveal on launch day to get all the free press and marketing they usually get with product announcements. If all the goodies are revealed before that, it takes the air out of reporting on launch day.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zendolphyn View Post

Was just a thought. I'm in same boat as you - I've heard about lightpeak in the tech blogs lately but don't know much about it. I was just saying that there must be something going on bigger than a simple refresh.

The meeting and NDA just has lightpeaked my curiosity more than normal .... <insert groan here>

I completely agree with you, and I was legitimately asking the question. There could be something really important about Lightpeak that I am not aware of, thus requiring an event and informing employees ahead of time. But, this seems unlikely.

I agree that any event they hold has to be more than just a speed bump. And, the fact that they are requiring an NDA is very interesting. I just don't remember this ever happening before. Obviously something big is happening to the degree that they need to discuss it with employees first. As I said, it could be product training, but there are many possibilities.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Indeed, I would be pissed to see new MBP the day I come pick up my new "old" one at the store. I wonder if the order can be cancel if that happens.

When a friend of mine ordered his MacBook Pro the day before the current lineup was refreshed, Apple "canceled" his order and changed it to the new model.

But, that was just a lineup refresh, and he paid $200 extra for an upgrade that became the new base model MacBook Pro.

My apartment was burglarized Saturday night, and my $1300 Macbook was stolen. So it'll be nice to get one of these new MacBook Pros when the insurance check arrives, I suppose.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Do you think LightPeak really needs to be explained? Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not know much about it, ...

I think you answered your own question.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_K View Post

C'mon the day before the annoucement, Apple themselves wrote on their website it would be a day we would never forget. ...

Well, you don't seem to have forgotten it, so, so far, I guess it's lived up to the "hype".
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I think you answered your own question.

I think you know what I meant, but I will re-phrase the question...

Do you really think LightPeak warrants an event, or to be the main feature to be explained at said event?

Obviously people, including myself, could stand to learn a thing or two about this tech, but it is not worthy to be the main talking point of an event. If this is the only new feature of the new MBPs, then their should be no event. And, they wouldn't need to have employees sign an NDA just to tell them about a faster data standard. They could do this right after it was posted online. Would you agree?

I mean if Apple held an event for everything they needed to teach some segment of their user base, then there should be one for "point, click and drag", and "How to keep your battery in tip top shape". Not to mention teaching people the importance and ease of backing up using time machine.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

I think you know what I meant, but I will re-phrase the question...

Do you really think LightPeak warrants an event, or to be the main feature to be explained at said event?

Obviously people, including myself, could stand to learn a thing or two about this tech, but it is not worthy to be the main talking point of an event. If this is the only new feature of the new MBPs, then their should be no event. And, they wouldn't need to have employees sign an NDA just to tell them about a faster data standard. They could do this right after it was posted online. Would you agree?

I mean if Apple held an event for everything they needed to teach some segment of their user base, then there should be one for "point, click and drag", and "How to keep your battery in tip top shape". Not to mention teaching people the importance and ease of backing up using time machine.

It's a completely new technology, and depending on what is meant by "adoption" (is it in addition to USB and Firewire, or does it replace it) there could be a number of questions that need to be answered. For instance, if they were to drop other peripheral connectors, they'd need to be able to demonstrate that there are x, y, z peripherals available "today" or very shortly that will work with it. Such a scenario would be roughly equivalent to dropping the floppy drive, and I think it would require a media event to explain the details.

That being said, I don't think they'll be introducing Light Peak on Macs with this round of updates.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Well, you don't seem to have forgotten it, so, so far, I guess it's lived up to the "hype".

Yep, like I said in my previous message "the only thing we don't forget is how a non-event this has been".
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_K View Post

Yep, like I said in my previous message "the only thing we don't forget is how a non-event this has been".

Personally I was let down by the Beatles announcement, given the teaser that Apple put out in advanceof the event. Of course, I am not a big Beatles fan either. I like some of their music, and can see how it influenced a lot of other musical talents, but it doesn't make my year or decade to be able to download it in iTunes. If I were a huge fan, I would own their CDs and would have ripped them myself years ago.

I think the difference is that Steve and a lot of people at Apple (and in the World), pretty much worshipped the Beatles. And to them, this announcement honestly was a really huge deal. So I am okay with it overall. Even though it didn't change my life, it did apparently change the lives of others.

I am happy about one thing though...now we will never have to talk about if and when the Beatles are coming to iTunes. That conversation is dead forever and we can move on.
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post

I've become addicted to watching these rumors and comments. I love all of my MacBook Pros. 2.33 GHz Pro, 2.4 GHz BlackBook, 2.4 GHz 15" 2010.

Y'all know Intel still makes Core 2 Duo chips and will continue to do so for a while. They are not all discontinued and they are not obsolete for what Apple uses them for.

They didn't spend a lot of R&D perfecting the unibody frame to abandon in two years later.

Apple will lose the optical drive when the time is right. I used an external 3.5 floppy drive for about a year until that transition was over. Then it was Iomega zip-drives, then burning CDs and DVDs. USB Flash drive will give over to "light peak" Flash drives to who knows. It will transition well without the foreseen doomsday prophesies. I burned my hundreds of music CDs into iTunes but I do that at home. External would still work. How about solid state music/movie playback? We live in cool times. Servo motors are one of the greatest inventions ever but lets use them in robots and stop spinning motors with limited battery reserve.

This update seems like the most agonizing one yet for some reason. Look how tempers flair. Can't wait. Refreshing Apple Store regularly even today.

Happy Birthday Steve and Get Well Soon. Thanks and God Bless.

The current unibody MBP frame is garbage. The edge at the front is sharp. Very sharp. Metal blocks wifi. It's widely known MacBook Pros suffer with poor WiFi range and speed and have ever since they decided to make the case out of metal. It's physics and they have tried to work around it but MacBooks still eclipse them in performance as do most other laptops, on Wifi performance. To remove the hard drive or access other components you have to remove a million screws. A huge step back from old Apple laptops. I remember the iBook lift-up keyboard... That was awesome! Now we can't even swap batteries without voiding the warranty. The MBP gets faster, but overall the case design continues to stagnate or actually get worse, but just in my opinion. It does feel sturdy, though.

The keyboard is so-so. I liked the old one better, the flat keys are slightly less intuitive for my fingers anyway. What is under the hood is great of course. Overall I'm very happy with it. Once you install gfxCardStatus of course. Without that gem of an app, my MBP never gets over 2 hours of battery. Ouch. I'd have hoped by now Apple would've released a 0.1 update to allow folks to simply turn off the NVIDIA card with a menu item. In other words: pay Cody to incorporate gfxCardStatus! The "switching" simply isn't reliable.
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's a completely new technology, and depending on what is meant by "adoption" (is it in addition to USB and Firewire, or does it replace it) there could be a number of questions that need to be answered. For instance, if they were to drop other peripheral connectors, they'd need to be able to demonstrate that there are x, y, z peripherals available "today" or very shortly that will work with it. Such a scenario would be roughly equivalent to dropping the floppy drive, and I think it would require a media event to explain the details.

That being said, I don't think they'll be introducing Light Peak on Macs with this round of updates.

You make some good points, and this was exactly why I asked. I didn't so much miss out on what LightPeak was, I just didn't consider Apple might axe the other ports. If they did, then I guess they would have to introduce the change and do damage control right off the bat. Likewise, they would want to inform their employees in advance to get them up to speed so they can get behind it and sell it to consumers. This would all make sense if this were the case.

I guess we'll see how it shakes out.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

As far as making Apple employees sign an NDA, this seems a bit odd to me. In the past it seems as though Apple employees (retail and tech support, etc.) did not have any info until after the keynote/announcement. Since they are reportedly doing this, then it sounds like they will be getting some juicy info ahead of time, maybe some new product training. I just wonder what kind of training. Unless the MacBook pros are significantly different, I can't see training being needed. Likewise for the iPad...it can't be that different, can it? Now I am very curious.

Apple NEVER tells retail employees about new hardware.
There is absolutely no need to.

The only thing that I could see requiring Retail Store employees to sign NDAs is something that is going to affect retail operations or requires employees to be trained prior to announcement.

I line with this, I predict the NDAs are related to the revamped Mobile Me service.
If Apple is giving away Mobile Me to millions of customers, retail employees will be helping them get it set up. This is the only thing that makes sense as far as affecting retail operations and requiring advanced training.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Apple NEVER tells retail employees about new hardware.
There is absolutely no need to.

The only thing that I could see requiring Retail Store employees to sign NDAs is something that is going to affect retail operations or requires employees to be trained prior to announcement.

I line with this, I predict the NDAs are related to the revamped Mobile Me service.
If Apple is giving away Mobile Me to millions of customers, retail employees will be helping them get it set up. This is the only thing that makes sense as far as affecting retail operations and requiring advanced training.

I hope you are right. I have been hoping for Free Mobile Me forever now. It's about time~
post #39 of 47
Apparently the NDA doesn't include that you signed one. Which is still leaking that something big enough to sign one is happening

That said, MY sources say that this weekends meetings were scheduled a good month ago and as of this AM their stores have not been asked to sign anything. So whatever is going on is apparently not company wide. Perhaps those stores are going to be pilots for something and that is what they are not to talk about.

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post #40 of 47
free mobile me!!!
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