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Apple stores busy with secretive activity ahead of WWDC keynote

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Some Apple retail employees will be working late nights ahead of the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, while a handful of stores recently had surprise visits from workers out of Apple's corporate headquarters, AppleInsider has learned.

Back-of-house workers and Specialists at a Texas Apple Store have reportedly been asked to work late the night of June 5, according to a person who spoke with Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore.com. The employees do not know what the work will be related to, but have speculated that it could be a signage change prior to WWDC, or perhaps a product re-alignment on the store floor.

The timing of the work, almost a full week before the WWDC keynote, would suggest that any potential immediate changes will not be related to any new products. It's possible that the work could pertain to Apple's annual back-to-school promotion, which kicked off last year on June 16.

The employees themselves do not expect that any retail changes made the night of June 5 will be related to the introduction of new hardware. Instead, it's expected that any new products will be unveiled at the WWDC keynote, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Pacific on Monday, June 11.

Separate and perhaps even more mysterious claims were also shared this week with AppleInsider, alleging that network engineers from Apple's retail headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., showed up at several retail stores unannounced, wielding a mysterious "black box." Those who arrived reportedly had back-of-house access codes and keys, along with passwords for local servers in the retail stores.

WWDC


The Cupertino-based employees allegedly locked themselves in the server rooms at these retail stores to conceal exactly what they were up to. It was speculated by people familiar with the visits that the corporate employees transferred large amounts of data from the black box they were wielding to a locally accessible store server.

The representatives who made unannounced arrivals reportedly left the stores without giving any details on their visit. Any managers who inquired about their presence were said to have been told to call Apple's retail headquarters in Cupertino.

Growing reports of mysterious activity at Apple's retail stores come as the company is gearing up for its annual WWDC event, which will run June 11 through 15. Rumors ahead of this year's conference have suggested Apple is planning to debut thinner and lighter MacBook Pros, Macs with Retina displays, and will also unveil the new iOS 6 mobile operating system with an all-new native Maps application.
post #2 of 33

Breaking: Apple Stores doing SOMETHING. lol.gif

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post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The employees do not know what the work will be related to, but have speculated that it could be a signage change prior to WWDC, or perhaps a product re-alignment on the store floor.
 

Has there ever been a signage change at the retail stores due to WWDC? 

 

As for the product re-alignment on the store floor, what does that mean? Put the iPhones on the right and the iPads on the left or visa versa?

 

However the changes will not be related to any new products.

 

Of course this all makes perfect sense.

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post #4 of 33
This should be one of the most interesting WWDC's in a very long time.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
This should be one of the most interesting WWDC's in a very long time.

 

And then they ignore all hardware and just talk about how well Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes sync from iCloud to Mountain Lion. lol.gif

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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Has there ever been a signage change at the retail stores due to WWDC? 

 

As for the product re-alignment on the store floor, what does that mean? Put the iPhones on the right and the iPads on the left or visa versa?

 

However the changes will not be related to any new products.

 

Of course this all makes perfect sense.

 

There have been changes in retail as a direct result of a WWDC but I can't remember what they were at the moment.  

One possible reason is that they are often fairly tame/lame once we find out what they actually are about.  

 

Rumours from retail stores are the easiest to come by as the employees are more prone to leaking than anyone at Apple HQ.  On the other hand retail employees tend to know the least, and get overly excited about things that are often just procedural changes, spinning them into vast cloak and dagger stories.  Any story that has as it's source some kind of Apple retail leak is usually an out an out lie, or a gross exaggeration with a soupçon of wild speculation thrown in.  

post #7 of 33

Hundreds of Semi Trucks parked outside the store full of 55 inch Apple Televisions that will need to be off loaded the day and time of the Keynote.

 

LOL.

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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Has there ever been a signage change at the retail stores due to WWDC? 

If something new released there might.
Quote:
As for the product re-alignment on the store floor, what does that mean? Put the iPhones on the right and the iPads on the left or visa versa?

Could be. Just before the iPads came out my local store moved the iPhones from the front table to the middle. Then the night before the release they changed the iPad 2s to he new one.

Or it could be the store tables are being cleaned nd they need staff to remove all the demos etc.

Or perhaps the new computers are being silently released that week.

Who knows
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And then they ignore all hardware and just talk about how well Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes sync from iCloud to Mountain Lion. lol.gif

This is most likely exactly it. Plus the iOS 6 preview, maybe a liitle 'new stuff in iTunes' or 'new feature in cloud' and 'updated iWork's and life apps for Mac OS'

After all it's a software conference
post #10 of 33

"Mysterious black box" - I love the run up to an Apple Keynote.

 

I wonder if the secret engineers all had iPods with the Mission Impossible theme playing while they worked. lol.gif
 

post #11 of 33

When they unveil your new digital assistant, "Clampy," and have a blue sky motif you will know the transformation is complete.  AAPL has now made its definitive products.  Now it is all about milking them and waiting things out.  Apple fans remind me of Microsoft fans in the 1990s.  One thing I do know: Apple fans were a rare breed nobody liked them or Apple.  Mainstream success and accoloades were heaped on Microsoft.  Legions of fans were everywhere.  Back then.  Microsoft believed its own hype, much like a recent Apple advertisement intoning, "colors more vibrant. everything is more brilliant."  Crowds don't make a product wrong.  I am just saying the human phenomenon here is absolutely not indicative of a good product.  OS X has never been more stagnant or more boring.  I was amazed last weekend to see an Apple store totally jammed.  Essentially no new product in 2 years.  Jammed.  Running on hype alone, friends.


Edited by bwik - 5/30/12 at 3:33pm
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

And then they ignore all hardware and just talk about how well Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes sync from iCloud to Mountain Lion. lol.gif

Ugh that's a fear of mine, having WWDC become the next E3. You're waiting for the next amazing game from Nintendo and they end up revealing Wii Fit 12.

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


This is most likely exactly it. Plus the iOS 6 preview, maybe a liitle 'new stuff in iTunes' or 'new feature in cloud' and 'updated iWork's and life apps for Mac OS'
After all it's a software conference


I have a feeling people will be mighty pissed if there are no Macbook or MacPro announcements soon.  Yes WWDC is a software conference but since Apple doesn't participate in MacWorld any more where else do they announce new hardware except then for special events?  I could totally see them announcing new MacBook Pro/MacPro at this event.  Especially if there are more changes than just the innards being updated.

post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

And then they ignore all hardware and just talk about how well Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes sync from iCloud to Mountain Lion. lol.gif


And how great the skeuomorphic design language is in OSX and iOS.

post #15 of 33
Black Box? It would have to be hardware related. Any kind of software upgrade wouldn't necessarily require someone to physically be there, I would think.
...
Btw has anything ever come up again regarding those LTE boxes installed last year?
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
Back-of-house workers and Specialists at a Texas Apple Store have reportedly been asked to work late the night of June 5, according to a person who spoke with Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore.com. The employees do not know what the work will be related to, but have speculated that it could be a signage change prior to WWDC, or perhaps a product re-alignment on the store floor.

A number of components are released on June 5th (dual-core Ivy Bridge for example) and June 6th is a Wednesday, ideal time of the week for a product launch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
Separate and perhaps even more mysterious claims were also shared this week with AppleInsider, alleging that network engineers from Apple's retail headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., showed up at several retail stores unannounced, wielding a mysterious "black box." Those who arrived reportedly had back-of-house access codes and keys, along with passwords for local servers in the retail stores.

I hope it was demagnetized by Stephen Hawking before they started plugging it into things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDbyYGrswtg

I find it funny how this event is described. It could just be some IT guy coming round with the equivalent of a WD passport drive. It's a freaking box that can be carried, how much mystery can there be? It's hardly going to be a new Mac Cube or something like that.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

When they unveil your new digital assistant, "Clampy," and have a blue sky motif you will know the transformation is complete.  AAPL has now made its definitive products.  Now it is all about milking them and waiting things out.  Apple fans remind me of Microsoft fans in the 1990s.  1. One thing I do know: Apple fans were a rare breed nobody liked them or Apple.  Mainstream success and accoloades were heaped on Microsoft.  Legions of fans were everywhere.  Back then.  Microsoft believed its own hype, much like a recent Apple advertisement intoning, "colors more vibrant. everything is more brilliant."  Crowds don't make a product wrong.  2. I am just saying the human phenomenon here is absolutely not indicative of a good product.  OS X has never been more stagnant or more boring.  I was amazed last weekend to see an Apple store totally jammed.  Essentially no new product in 2 years.  Jammed.  3. Running on hype alone, friends.

1. I liked Apple fans and I liked Apple

 

2. Just because you think it so does not make it so

 

3. Yes, that's all it is, "hype". (slaps forehead and shakes head)

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post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Black Box? It would have to be hardware related. Any kind of software upgrade wouldn't necessarily require someone to physically be there, I would think.
...
Btw has anything ever come up again regarding those LTE boxes installed last year?

 

Didn't you just shoot down your own claim?  I mean, sure, 4G is hardware, sorta, but...  I'm guessing checking signals too -- sounds like it might just be 4G.

post #19 of 33

"It's what we've all been waiting for." - Must be the reincarnation of Steve Jobs.  They put him in cryostasis while nano-bots rebuilt his body over the last few months.  He will make a surprise visit during the keynote.


Edited by esummers - 5/30/12 at 6:26pm
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


I find it funny how this event is described. It could just be some IT guy coming round with the equivalent of a WD passport drive. It's a freaking box that can be carried, how much mystery can there be? It's hardly going to be a new Mac Cube or something like that.

It could have a new product in it for showcase purposes. And software for sure, but why a black box if that was the only thing?

post #21 of 33

OoOoOo the mysterious black box.  Sounds like Apple's running area 51.  Where are the Men in Black?  Oh wait, it's not men — it's a black box.

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post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And then they ignore all hardware and just talk about how well Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes sync from iCloud to Mountain Lion. lol.gif

Well if they get all the kinks worked out that would be worth talking about.

The June 5th date is interesting though, Apple might have to much to update to do it all at WWDC.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Hundreds of Semi Trucks parked outside the store full of 55 inch Apple Televisions that will need to be off loaded the day and time of the Keynote.

LOL.

Most Apple retail stores don't even have room for a TV, much less a lineup of TVs.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

When they unveil your new digital assistant, "Clampy," and have a blue sky motif you will know the transformation is complete.  AAPL has now made its definitive products.  Now it is all about milking them and waiting things out.  Apple fans remind me of Microsoft fans in the 1990s.  One thing I do know: Apple fans were a rare breed nobody liked them or Apple.  Mainstream success and accoloades were heaped on Microsoft.  Legions of fans were everywhere.  Back then.  Microsoft believed its own hype, much like a recent Apple advertisement intoning, "colors more vibrant. everything is more brilliant."  Crowds don't make a product wrong.  I am just saying the human phenomenon here is absolutely not indicative of a good product.  OS X has never been more stagnant or more boring.  I was amazed last weekend to see an Apple store totally jammed.  Essentially no new product in 2 years.  Jammed.  Running on hype alone, friends.

 

And the day will come when a new company comes along and passes Apple as far as innovation. Until that day, they just keep refining and updating their existing well-designed products, while working on new ones. Yeah, it's all just hype and hype alone. Has nothing to do with good product (and store) design. Not at all. That's why nobody copies Apple. Not at all.

post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

"Mysterious black box" - I love the run up to an Apple Keynote.

 

I wonder if the secret engineers all had iPods with the Mission Impossible theme playing while they worked. lol.gif
 

 

They obviously had a higher "Operating Apple Level" than the lowly shop managers.

post #26 of 33

Those guys who came into the stores with the black boxes were not actually from Apple. They were spies from Samsung, stealing designs from Apple's servers.

post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

When they unveil your new digital assistant, "Clampy," and have a blue sky motif you will know the transformation is complete.  AAPL has now made its definitive products.  Now it is all about milking them and waiting things out.  Apple fans remind me of Microsoft fans in the 1990s.  One thing I do know: Apple fans were a rare breed nobody liked them or Apple.  Mainstream success and accoloades were heaped on Microsoft.  Legions of fans were everywhere.  Back then.  Microsoft believed its own hype, much like a recent Apple advertisement intoning, "colors more vibrant. everything is more brilliant."  Crowds don't make a product wrong.  I am just saying the human phenomenon here is absolutely not indicative of a good product.  OS X has never been more stagnant or more boring.  I was amazed last weekend to see an Apple store totally jammed.  Essentially no new product in 2 years.  Jammed.  Running on hype alone, friends.

No new products in 2 years? Are you kidding or just delusional?

Sure, they haven't completely revolutionized an entire industry in something over 2 years (since the introduction of the iPad), but it's unrealistic to expect that. Every single product line Apple has (except the Mac Pro) has had significant new products in the past 2 years.

Of course, if you don't want to count new products like the 4S or iPad 3 or MacBook Airs, then you need to look at the rest of the industry. Which other company has completely revolutionized a market during that same 2 years? You're holding Apple to an unreasonable standard.
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post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

OoOoOo the mysterious black box.  Sounds like Apple's running area 51.  Where are the Men in Black?  Oh wait, it's not men — it's a black box.

 

I believe that these were indeed men in black, but that their names were Jake and Elwood. lol.gif

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


No new products in 2 years? Are you kidding or just delusional?
Sure, they haven't completely revolutionized an entire industry in something over 2 years (since the introduction of the iPad), but it's unrealistic to expect that. Every single product line Apple has (except the Mac Pro) has had significant new products in the past 2 years.
Of course, if you don't want to count new products like the 4S or iPad 3 or MacBook Airs, then you need to look at the rest of the industry. Which other company has completely revolutionized a market during that same 2 years? You're holding Apple to an unreasonable standard.

 

If Apple doesn't create or completely revolutionize a new industry every year, then the company is an utter failure, you heard it here first. Never mind that no other computer hardware company has really changed anything since the first PC. It's incredible how Apple detractors need to up the rhetoric to the level of crazed, delusional insanity in order to attack the company, and instead of comparing Apple to everything else out there, they ignore the other players and invent new 'standards' for success and innovation that are apparently from another universe.  

 

The first iPhone came out less than 5 years ago. The first iPad 2 years ago. Look at how massively the phone and tablet space has changed since then- to the point of being difficult to imagine how different they were just a few years ago. I don't know what else to say. Apple's momentum has been staggering, if anything, and it looks like we actually may get a couple completely new products this year. Raging blind hatred of the poster you responded to doesn't rely on facts or rationality. I'm amazed at how many on these boards pine for the days when Apple's stock price was the price of a sandwich, their MBPs cost $3K, and they were a mocked and irrelevant part of the tech landscape. Maybe these people can start an online petition to get Apple to roll-back to these 'glory days' that they miss so much. I'm sick and tired of the inane ramblings of these neck-bearded basement-dwellers aho are completely disconnected from average people and their needs/wants, yet claim to speak for them. . 


Edited by Slurpy - 5/31/12 at 10:17am
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

When they unveil your new digital assistant, "Clampy," and have a blue sky motif you will know the transformation is complete.  AAPL has now made its definitive products.  Now it is all about milking them and waiting things out.  Apple fans remind me of Microsoft fans in the 1990s.  One thing I do know: Apple fans were a rare breed nobody liked them or Apple.  Mainstream success and accoloades were heaped on Microsoft.  Legions of fans were everywhere.  Back then.  Microsoft believed its own hype, much like a recent Apple advertisement intoning, "colors more vibrant. everything is more brilliant."  Crowds don't make a product wrong.  I am just saying the human phenomenon here is absolutely not indicative of a good product.  OS X has never been more stagnant or more boring.  I was amazed last weekend to see an Apple store totally jammed.  Essentially no new product in 2 years.  Jammed.  Running on hype alone, friends.

Wow Apple hype has legs!!

 

If you are bored with OSX, you are welcome to use Windows 8.  That will keep you busy for awhile.

post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

"Mysterious black box" - I love the run up to an Apple Keynote.

 

Probably turn out that it was something to do with wifi issues on their internal network. or to improve being able to activate new phones on this or that network and actually has zero to do with WWDC

post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post
Essentially no new product in 2 years.  Jammed.  Running on hype alone, friends.

 

So what if they haven't released some awesome never before seen product in a couple of years. They have improved their existing products and those products are deemed useful and wanted by people. Perhaps not you because you don't like 'old' products but enough others that Apple wasn't laying off people during that near recession, they weren't closing stores etc. They were hiring more folks, opening more stores. Because they were selling stuff. Which is why you hear about governments adopting iPads, schools adopting iPads. etc. Not Windows tablets, not Android tablets, not some made just for schools etc tablets. But iPads. 

 

Maybe Apple is running on hype but that hype is that their products are good 

post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I have a feeling people will be mighty pissed if there are no Macbook or MacPro announcements soon.  Yes WWDC is a software conference but since Apple doesn't participate in MacWorld any more where else do they announce new hardware except then for special events?  

 

 

Maybe they don't. Apple knows the moment that "we'll be back" goes up on the website every blog in the world gets the news and is watching to see what happens. They know they don't need to make a big to do about their hardware for it to get attention. They could just post the info and a few videos on the site and they will get the same sales as before. Especially with their computers. Tim Cook said he loves it when the blogs talk about Apple (though not so much when they are pushing 99% false rumors). He didn't say the whole reason which includes that it's free press so Apple doesn't have to bother marketing their stuff quite so hard or with so much expensive. 

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