Apple has reportedly scheduled overnights for Tuesday night in preparation for the OS X Lion launch. According to 9to5 Mac, Apple Store outlets are already equipped with hard drives to quickly install Lion on the show floor computers, and the stores have been sent new posters to outfit the walls with advertisements for the new operating system. Apple is also expected to refresh the MacBook Air in the imminent future. We’re expecting the new notebooks to pack the Thunderbolt I/O port in place of DisplayPort, Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, and a backlit keyboard. More →
Apple has started to ask Apple Store employees to prepare for an “overnight” shift on July 13th — a sign that the company is prepping a new release of some sort on the next day, 9to5 Mac said. Apple has already confirmed that Mac OS X Lion 10.7 will land in July, and we’re placing bets that’s what we’ll see on the 14th. However, we’re also expecting refreshed MacBook Air notebooks in the imminent future and, since the new MacBook Air will no doubt run OS X Lion, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it launch at the same time. Other specs for the refresh likely include Intel’s new SandyBridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O in place of the DisplayPort. There have even been rumors of a black anodized aluminum high-end MacBook Air, although we’re not so sure that will ever see the light of day. The good news is we just have six more days until we find out. More →
We have just received some information from a solid Apple source, and if they’re right, Apple may be planning something big for its 10th retail anniversary this Thursday the 19th. Here’s what we’ve been told:
- There’s an overnight shift planned for around 10-15 individuals at each Apple Store to work from late Saturday all the way through mid-Sunday.
- During the overnight shift, it’s going to be required that employees lock cell phones in the main office. They will also have to sign an NDA with Apple.
- There are a wide variety of roles, we’re told, for the overnight shift. This includes all visuals staff, a manager, a business team member, a few Genius team members, one back-of-house employee, and a few generic Apple specialists.
- Apple stores have apparently already received hardware to install, and are expecting more hardware to come on Friday or Saturday. All materials that Apple stores have received have been instructed to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night.
- Apple employees will be putting up black curtains at all stores so that people walking outside cannot see inside.
- Employees have had to download gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled, “training” in a password-protected zipped folder that won’t accessible to managers or anyone else until Saturday afternoon.
- Lastly, all Apple retail stores have mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22nd. Most meeting are scheduled for the morning, but there are evening meetings as well.
The question is, what is Apple planning? More →
I’m a shipping freak. I love tracking packages, and I love knowing what happens when a package is sent. I have a pretty good understanding of how everything works — when and why packages are delayed, even when FedEx and UPS internally aren’t even so sure why. Everyone knows Apple’s iPads are due to be received (and available in stores) this Saturday, the 3rd. So, of course, Apple doesn’t want a single person getting an iPad early. Well, how do you completely control that? You request a block on delivery with your shipper of choice until the actual delivery date comes up.
But that doesn’t always do it. Sometimes there’s a mistake made, sometimes the local hub doesn’t care, or the package is there and no one notices and it gets sent out on the delivery truck. How do you completely fix this? You do what Apple is doing now. Shipments of iPads are due to reach the U.S. tomorrow and the next day, and if this was a normal shipment, the packages would be delivered on April 1st, not April 3rd. But, they can’t pass through Louisville, KY (UPS’ main hub) before passing through customs clearance. Since it’s an international shipment, there’s no way around that. Because Apple is shipping these things in bulk (yes, bulk), the easiest way to do this is to have the merchandise pre-cleared when it leaves China with UPS’s service WorldEase. The interesting thing though, is that U.S. Customs has not received any clearance papers yet — a surefire way to completely control the shipments until the actual delivery date and 100% bypass any possible shipper mistakes.