“We’ve gotten our hands on the internal Apple RetailMe iPads and have been rifling through the interesting new features that debuted for Retail employees on Monday. First is obviously the Daily Download, which is a well-produced internal Daily ‘newspaper for employees.’ It is incredibly stylish and functional and and much better than the previous web-based version that existed before,” Seth Weintraub reports for 9 to 5 Mac.

“The new iPads are imaged with: RetailMe, Apple Connect, Apple Directory, Concierge, and strangely enough, the Easy Pay application (huge credit card readers on the way?!), as well as the standard Mobile Genius and iRepair,” Weintraub reports.

“But there is something more interesting,” Weintraub reports. “One of our trusted Store sources believes that the huge download that employees will be doing over the weekend is for installing Lion (!!) on Store machines.”

More info, including screenshots, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Lion? If it’s ready, why not tap into the free PR machine by demonstrating it at WWDC and simply releasing it there? Why would the retail stores be getting Lion early?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]