AUSTIN, Texas--Word broke earlier Thursday that Apple would be constructing a temporary "pop-up" store here this week, a move that would permit the thousands of geeks who have descended upon Austin for the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) to obtain shiny new iPad 2 devices when they go on sale Friday. Downtown Austin does not have a permanent Apple retail store.
The Austin American Statesman reported that Apple would be taking over a 5,000-square-foot space in the historic Scarbrough Building on Sixth Street and South Congress Avenue. So, armed with a camera, I went right on over upon my flight's arrival in Austin!
Apple, in keeping with its penchant for furtiveness, has chosen not to confirm that the pop-up store even exists. Someone who appeared to be in charge of the construction efforts informed me that I was not permitted to take pictures, to which I responded, "So, is this the Apple store?" He told me in a very polite Texas drawl, "I can't say what it is until tomorrow." My response: "So it is the Apple store." No further comment.
I did, however, peep through a crack in one of the doors (really) and got a look at what was going on inside. It looked, more or less, like an indoor construction site: no visible signs of anything Apple. If the space is going to be ready when the iPad 2 goes on sale at 5 p.m. Friday, that construction team certainly still has some work cut out for it.
And for the record, no one was lined up out front.