updated 09:00 pm EDT, Wed May 2, 2012
May coincide with WWDC, details thin
An administrative assistant with UPS, the world's largest import-export brokerage firm as well as the familiar package-delivery service, says customs activity connected with Apple may indicate "something big" coming soon. Independent of that report, Apple stores are said to be doing some "all-hands" training sessions as well, lending some credence to the otherwise-thin report, which appeared on a speculative next-gen iPhone enthusiast blog.
The source said that her team has been seeing a lot of high-security import-export activity connected with Apple as UPS normally would in advance of big product launch, with preparatory customs paperwork having increased recently. She was not able to say definitively what products were involved, but said the documents were being handled in special folders with limited access that went straight to Apple's Cupertino HQ.
The source, though new, was seen as credible by the iPhone 5 New Blog because of her detailed description of her duties, verification of her employment and other details not related to what specifically the new product might be. That fact that she chose to share information with an "iPhone 5" website might be indicative of the product she was not at liberty to discuss.
She went on to say that she did not think the paperwork was related to long-rumored MacBook Air and MacBook Pro upgrades that could be coming later this summer, and was "positive" it did not related to iPads. The paperwork was described as being used by UPS to clear brokerage issues with customs inspectors in various countries as well as the FCC. Most electronic products require clearance from the FCC to be sold in the US, but the presence of FCC documents does not make clear if the possible products are new, or just revised versions of existing products.
Other Apple projects that have been speculated on for the near-future include a revised low-end iPhone, a next-gen LTE-capable iPhone, a branded or co-branded HDTV set, a revamped Mac Pro and updates for most of the rest of the existing product line apart from the iPad. Apple will be holding its annual WWDC conference in early June, though new consumer products are only occasionally announced there.
The separate reports of "all hands" Apple staff training sessions may be coincidental, or may be related to the forthcoming product. If the latter, that could indicate a refreshed or new consumer-oriented product with some significant new feature or expected high demand. [via iPhone 5 News Blog]