Apple stores busy with secretive activity ahead of WWDC keynote

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Breaking: Apple Stores doing SOMETHING. image

  • Reply 2 of 32
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 3 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,902member
    This should be one of the most interesting WWDC's in a very long time.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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. image

  • Reply 5 of 32
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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.  

  • Reply 6 of 32
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    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.

  • Reply 7 of 32
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    mstone wrote: »
    Has there ever been a signage change at the retail stores due to WWDC? 

    If something new released there might.
    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
  • Reply 8 of 32
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    And then they ignore all hardware and just talk about how well Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes sync from iCloud to Mountain Lion. :lol:

    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
  • Reply 9 of 32
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member


    "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. image

     

  • Reply 10 of 32
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member


    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.

  • Reply 11 of 32
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member

    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. image



    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.

  • Reply 12 of 32
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 32
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    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. image





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

  • Reply 14 of 32
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 32
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    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 <a href="http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/">of <em>ifoAppleStore.com</em></a>. 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.
    Separate and perhaps even more mysterious claims were also shared this week with <em>AppleInsider</em>, 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:



    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.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    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)

  • Reply 17 of 32
    rufworkrufwork Posts: 129member

    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.

  • Reply 18 of 32
    esummersesummers Posts: 912member


    "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.

  • Reply 19 of 32

    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?

  • Reply 20 of 32
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,151member


    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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