Working at an Apple retail store in the past, I felt compelled to share some thoughts on the rumors hinting of a major event coming this weekend at the Apple retail stores. Computerworld's Jonny Evans shares some additional thoughts along these lines, but also shares information from ifoapplestore.com, which has been a faithful follower of Apple retail stores since they opened nearly 10 years ago.
Taking in the smoke from the rumor mill, don't get excited about Apple launching some form of anniversary Mac hardware, or delivering some surprise Apple HDTV product, that just isn't happening. Apple does not waste hundreds of millions of dollars in free press when launching into new markets, and pulling some surprise Mac launch over the weekend would be doing exactly that. What's more likely is a software/cloud initiative.
As mentioned previously, the time and effort that is purportedly being thrown into retail changes this weekend indicate re-imaging Macs, iPhones and the iPod touch. It takes time to re-image all these systems, and new OS-level code (such as core image) would require such an installation.
The install would seem to revolve around the rumored iCloud initiative. But keep in mind iCloud is a generic name, and over time Apple could throw in any number of services under that moniker. Based on the recording industry speculation, coupled with Amazon and Google's music lockers, Apple rolling out their all-new iTunes music services for Mac OS X and iOS seems the best bet for this weekends event.
Looking at Apple's roadmap crystal ball, there is an outside chance Apple would bring new iPods to the stores. The annual iPod event in the fall has become stale, and hardly requires such pomp and circumstance for minor updates of a product line. To quietly bring along revised iPod nano's – now with camera – and new iPod shuffles makes a good fit for an iTunes cloud event. Certainly, these types of minor updates don't require Jobs on stage saying "Amazing. A camera in an iPod nano. And we think you're going to love it."
iPod touch? Not likely. The iPod touch should stay as is, being updated at a future event... This weekend Apple will celebrate the past 10 years by delivering products and services aimed squarely at the future. It's the Apple way.
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