Talk of an Apple 10th retail anniversary event has resurfaced, with new leaks potentially pointing to a significant product launch to mark the occasion on Thursday, May 19. Apple had been tipped to be readying a birthday celebration after news of staff holiday black-outs leaked last month; now, according to BGR‘s “solid” source, Apple stores have apparently “already received hardware to install” with more tipped to arrive on Friday and Saturday. Installation is expected to take place overnight on Saturday, with 10-15 staff at each store on a top-secret, NDA-protected late shift.
The nature of the hardware they’ll be installing is unclear, and the range of roles expected to take part doesn’t give us much to go on. According to the source, “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” will be called upon, working while the store windows are covered with black curtains so as to preserve the surprise.
The rest of the staff will get mandatory Sunday morning training sessions, with Apple corporate sending out multi-gigabyte scale training packages in password-protected folders. They’ll be accessible on Saturday afternoon, when Apple follows up with the passwords themselves.
Last month, it was suggested that Apple could be readying some sort of Black Friday style discount day or hosting public events, rather than launching a new product. It’s still unclear whether the hardware that has been distributed to stores is demo hardware or something to be used for that style of event.