Apple's Texas-sized secret at SXSW (photos)

The day before an Apple pop-up store in downtown Austin, Texas, is set to open, things are suspiciously sleepy--and secretive.

Caroline McCarthy
Daniel Terdiman
1 of 10 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Inside the Austin pop-up Apple store

AUSTIN, Texas--The rumors are true. After a couple days of speculation, the "pop-up" Apple Store opened in the center of downtown here, just in time for the South by Southwest festival, which opened Friday, the same day as the iPad 2 was released.

Here, we see a view inside the temporary store. Outside, a line snaked for a full block down Congress Avenue.

2 of 10 Caroline McCarthy/CNET

Austin's Scarbrough Building

The Scarbrough Building in downtown Austin, Texas is celebrating its centennial this year. During the South by Southwest Interactive Festival this week, one local newspaper reported that it would be home to an Apple pop-up store so that the tens of thousands of geeks attending the conference could get their hands on an iPad 2 with the real live Apple Store experience.
3 of 10 Caroline McCarthy/CNET

What's the paper for?

Well, what's the paper for? An empty ground-floor storefront in the Scarbrough Building above a Gold's Gym had a suspicious level of construction activity going on behind it. When CNET attempted to take pictures, a foreman asked us to stop and said that he could say tomorrow what would be in the space.
4 of 10 Caroline McCarthy/CNET

AT&T, eh?

Well, this is convenient! An AT&T truck was parked right in front of the construction site rumored to be housing the SXSW pop-up store.
5 of 10 Caroline McCarthy/CNET

From the other corner

Presumably, the pop-up Apple Store would be entered through the gold doors visible in this photo.
6 of 10 Caroline McCarthy/CNET

For the history buffs

History buffs may be interested in the Scarbrough Building's pre-Steve Jobs legacy.
7 of 10 Caroline McCarthy/CNET

Why, yes, it is an Apple Store!

On Friday, with a line of well over 100 people formed around the corner of Sixth and Congress, the Apple logo was finally unveiled at the pop-up store.
8 of 10 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Inside from outside

A view inside the pop-up Apple Store in Austin from the outside.
9 of 10 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Just like an Apple Store

The question of the day in Austin was why doesn't Apple have a permanent store downtown here. The pop-up store, and the giant line that awaited the formal release of the iPad 2 demonstrated that there is plenty of interest in town, even if much of the people in line were visitor in town for SXSW.
10 of 10 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Got the iPad 2

A buyer of the iPad talks on camera outside the pop-up Austin Apple Store.

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