updated 01:15 pm EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
Timing unusually early for regular store launches
The new Highland Village Apple Store in Houston, Texas will open at 8AM on the 16th, Apple has announced. The company more typically opens new stores at 10AM; the Houston Chronicle speculates, as a result, that Apple may be preparing to open all of its stores at 8AM for the launch of the third-generation iPad. An Apple spokeswoman has refused to confirm or deny such plans.
Coincidentally or not the Highland Village opening successfully predicted the new iPad's retail availability. The Apple spokeswoman notes that the outlet will have 160 workers, and be only the second in Texas to feature a "briefing room" for making pitches to business customers. The first 1,000 visitors to the store will get a commemorative t-shirt.