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Holy covered banners Batman! We had thought Apple raised all their banners this past Friday, but have been proven wrong. It appears Werner Reschke (Guy #3), was correct in his guess that Apple may put up covered banners Sunday night. Nice call Werner. You can see more original T-GAAP WWDC banner photos here.

We are not sure what this banner holds under it's black veil, but here are three of our best guesses:

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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.

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Based on BGR's claims, it appears Apple will actually be revealing pre-announcement information to a select group of Apple retail staff 12 – 24 hours ahead of a major announcement. This would be a first for Apple, and a bold move from the Cupertino machine. But this may be an Apple litmus test, and if successful may lay the groundwork for how future product launches roll out.

It appears Apple corporate does not trust their retail employees (smart move), in that BRG's source claims the 10-15 employees that will be pulling an all-night-er in the stores, must not only sign an NDA, but also lock their cell phones in the managerial office.

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The Jobs Principle: Keep Your Frenemies Close

by: E. Werner Reschke | May 06, 2011

Apple's North Carolina Data CenterApple's Steve Jobs seems to be the wunderkind reborn after his return to Apple in 1997. His first stint with Apple led to the design and launch of the original Macintosh and the original Mac OS. During his second time behind the wheel he brought us the iMac, Mac OS X, and the i-Series of products and iOS operating system.

There's not much that Apple has done under Jobs' leadership that hasn't been a success. One of guiding principle Jobs has used is during his second term is, "Keep Your Friends Close; Keep Your Enemies Closer". There are three examples of this from the recent decade: Intel, Google and Facebook.

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Jobs in Carbonite Casing

by: Mark Reschke | Apr 26, 2011

I'm a big fan of the original Star Wars films, so without delay, Steve Jobs in Carbonite.

It appears Han Solo has given up his Carbonite casing for Steve Jobs. If you are a Star Wars fan you might find this a great collectible, but not exactly sure how well your iPhone 4 will lay flat on any type of hard surface... Ah, but functionality isn't the real point here is it? Better get this case while you can, as I envision a cease and desist letter coming from Apple very quickly. This case simply makes for a great gift or item to put display on that cubical shelf. You can find it here from the artistic minds at Society6.

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Apple's financial call is set for Wednesday, April 20 at 5 PM Eastern, and it may be one of the biggest financial thrill rides in recent memory, if our estimates are correct (Imagine that, a financial call being a thrill ride). Apple's CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, delivered guidance of $22m in revenues with a 38.5% gross margin. You can see a full listing of what the pro's and bloggers are predicting Apple will deliver for their fiscal Q211 here.

The highest estimate from Wall Street analysts comes from Jeff Fidacaro of SIG (Susquehanna Investment Group). The highest blogosphere estimate comes courtesy of Nicolae Mihalache over at traderhood.com. They're probably both wrong.

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Reasons for a 6" iPod touch

by: Mark Reschke | Apr 11, 2011

Unless you're slightly crazy, there's no questioning Apple's dominance in the tablet market. In fact, a year after the iPad's original launch, competition is still scarce. PC and cell phone manufacturers alike are struggling to nip Apple's iPad heels. Can these hardware makers find a market for their tablets and truly compete with Apple, or is iPod history repeating itself?

Presently, there are several issues blocking Android-based tablets success in the marketplace:

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MacBook Pro’s Next Step

by: Mark Reschke | Mar 28, 2011

October 2010 came roaring in like a Lion — well, for Mac OS X fans that is. Once again Steve Jobs took center stage for a Keynote presentation that focused on the Mac. He and his executive team announced and demoed a few upcoming features in Lion, Mac OS X 10.7.

Alongside of the software hoopla Steve also introduced an update to the MacBook Air. Faster, better memory, better storage, better display, better battery life and more affordable. However, there was one line during his keynote that still rattles in my brain — like a tune you hear in the grocery store and then can't get out of your head. Steve said this is "...the new MacBook Air… we think it is the future of notebooks."

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Whose Business is Steve Jobs Health

by: Mark Reschke | Mar 05, 2011

Steve Jobs took center stage this week at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, unveiling Apple's new iPad 2. Some bloggers, such as Paul Thurrot, mention Jobs physical appearance, while others left Steve Jobs health off the table. Clearly, Wall Street dinged Apple's stock price on the news that Jobs would be taking another leave of absence. However, his appearance, along side the iPad 2 launch, gave investors confidence to once again to pour big dollars back into the company.  

But where is the line in commenting on and covering Steve Jobs health? Is it any business of yours? Is it any business of mine? The answers are diverse and it could be situational.

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Is Now The Time to Buy AAPL Stock?

by: E. Werner Reschke | Jan 18, 2011

Apple StockYesterday the world read about Steve Jobs "stepping back" from the day-to-day operations at Apple to tend to his health.  Tim Cook, who took over for Steve when Steve took a leave of absence to fight pancreatic cancer, is back at the helm.

However, this time we have not been told what specific ailment has caused Steve to step back to focus on his health. Is it a return of the cancer? Is it a virus or bacterial infection (since his immune system may be weak)? We don't know. What we do know is that Jobs will keep his CEO status and remain involved with Apple at the strategic level but not the day-to-day. Yesterday in Germany the knee-jerk reaction to this news dropped AAPL 8%. Today in the U.S. the reaction is similar, but also somewhat muted.

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