Shady Apple Rumor Points to Big Weekend Product Launch

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Something weird’s supposedly going down at Apple Stores ahead of their 10th anniversary.

Employees are planning an overnight shift on Saturday, an unnamed tipster told Boy Genius Report, during which cell phones will be confiscated and 10 or 15 individuals will have to work through mid-Sunday. The staff have reportedly received hardware to install, which will be kept under lock and key until after stores close on Saturday night, along with password-protected training files. Finally, the storefronts will reportedly be covered in black curtains to hide what’s going on.

The Apple Store’s 10th anniversary falls on May 19, and BGR speculates that a new product will launch to coincide with this occasion.

There’s no word on what that product may be, but we can eliminate some possibilities:

  • Apple’s iPad 2 launched in March, so another iPad seems unlikely.
  • New iMacs launched earlier this month, so that’s out of the question.
  • The Macbook Pro already got lighter and faster in February.
  • The next iPhone is rumored for September. That’s when iPods and Apple TV last launched as well.
  • Apple’s slimmer MacBook Airs launched in October., so don’t bet on a major refresh.

A leading candidate might be the basic MacBook, which got its last refresh in May 2010, or the Mac Mini, which last upgraded in June 2010. I wouldn’t rule out a surprise release of OS X Lion, but a summer launch is far more likely.

And there’s always one other possibility, that this rumor is hogwash and nothing’s launching on Sunday at all. If you can’t wait until then, you can always stake out your local Apple Store on Saturday night. Bring a date.