As of Sunday morning Eastern time, reader and source reports have been coming in at a blistering pace as the online Apple Store reportedly went offline for most of the night. It came back later Sunday morning, and remained online throughout the remainder of the weekend.
Although the timing suggests it could be routine, the sheer volume of source reports and other reasons to suspect new hardware product announcements — almost certainly one or more new Macs — combined with the similarity between current speculation and long-standing rumors about new Mac Minis, price cuts, and/or a new Mac Pro….give us reason to suspect that such announcements could be imminent; if not in the next couple of days, then quite possibly before the week is out.
For a screen shot of the Apple Store while it was offline overnight on Sunday morning, simply click here; it is a familiar sight to many.
But not everyone has had the opportunity to see the Store while it is is ‘lockdown mode.’
Lockdowns are special; they go far beyond simply adding or editing product entries.
Such operations can actually be undertaken by employees who handle the online store with trivial effort in the store’s administration interface and never have to interrupt the function of the online Store for a single moment.
When Lockdowns are undertaken, it is because the store requires major overhauls — even direct hand-editing of the WebObjects code which makes it work.
Sometimes, particuarly when it is done during the weekly traffic low point overnight in the middle of the weekend….this is a planned, routine undertaking that has nothing to do with product announcements.
Many web sites — both rumor-mongering ones and others alike — have been taken in by wishful thinking over the years combined with seemingly questionable timing of such Online Store lockdowns, only to be embarassed when nothing of note happens in the hours & days following the event.
We have always been particularly careful and conservative about making predictions based on a lockdown — particularly one which is timed during the weekly traffic lull early Sunday morning.
That said, this fits with information coming to us from several different quarters, suggesting at least some sort of low-key product announcement within 7-10 days at the outside.