Apple has some big surprises in Store

How is Apple planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its retail stores? Cringe has a few ideas

As you probably have already heard too many times by now, tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the first Apple Store in Tyson's Corner, Va. Apparently Apple is planning something pretty big to commemorate it.

I'm getting reports from Cringesters that Apple has blacked out the windows in its stores and is conducting intensive two-day training sessions for store employees. According to The Boy Genius Report, Apple has confiscated employee cellphones, forced them to sign NDAs, and told them they'd better be prepared to work throughout the weekend.

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So what in Jobs's name is Apple planning? Naturally the blogosphere is agog with theories.

One is that Apple plans to introduce the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 4S, depending on which source of unconfirmed rumormongering you most trust). Another rumor is that Apple is installing near-field communications point-of-sale terminals in every store, allowing customers to buy new iPhones by waving their old ones at it. A third theory is that Apple will use this occasion to unveil its rumored "iCloud" streaming media service.

Meanwhile, the party poopers over at Wired say Apple isn't planning any new product releases at all -- nothing to see here, please move along.

I'm not so sure about any of that. Naturally, I have a few absurd theories of my own:

  • Jobs is preparing his troops for Judgment Day on May 21. He wants all Apple Inc. employees ready to board the iComet for the ride to the NeXT level.
  • It's Apple's bi-annual reprogramming sessions. Every two years the diodes surgically implanted inside the brains of Apple Store employees wear out and have to be replaced. It's just a coincidence that it's happening on the 10th anniversary.
  • Jobs is planning to announce that an elite team of Apple Seals has captured and killed the executives responsible for the disastrous MobileMe launch in 2008. To avoid jurisdictional problems, Apple has buried their bodies at sea.
  • Apple is planning to introduce the all-white iPad! Wait, sorry, it did that already. I mean the all-white iPhone! Oops, the company did that too. It's something white, I know that much. Oh, I got it –- it's introducing a team of all-white male executives. That's it.
  • Jobs will use the anniversary to announce that he is seeking the Republican nomination for president, automatically making him the sanest candidate in the field. Heck, he's already got more votes locked up than Ron Paul.
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