Apple to retail staff: Switching to RetailMe like switching from PC to Mac (also: Mac OS X Lion coming this weekend?)

“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.]

26 Comments

  1. That Lion story is bullshit. No way will Apple release Lion to retail employees without a prior announcement at WWDC which is a couple of weeks away.

    1. Well, they’re already Apple employees. You might want to sit down for this: many Apple employees have already used Lion. 😉

      All Apple has to do is instruct people to keep the Leopard Desktop background on Lion, and no one will even know it’s there.

  2. I think that Lion is a big part of the iCloud (The BILLION DOLLAR SERVER FARM). So, it is a possibility.

    We will know soon. Have a great weekend!

  3. Lion? Seriously? They’re still issuing developer previews, and now they’re gonna skip the beta cycles? These rumors really get silly sometimes.

  4. Tying Lion to the WWDC is the same bullshit. There is no need to wait for external developers anymore. A early AppStore release makes sense to me, though I will wait for the USB version in the Stores – prefer to have s/th in the Hand…

  5. Lion’s not coming this weekend. Let’s see: we could capitalize on the WWDC platform to announce the ship date and hype Lion – or we could release it nondescriptly over the weekend at our Apple Stores and spring it on people with no advance announcement.

    Does anyone writing this shit pay attention to Apple’s MO at all?

    1. It’s clear they don’t. As it is clear some of us posters don’t pay any attention to how things work at Apple either.

      Tell the employees to leave the Leopard screen on. Give me a break. Imaging all the machines is a remote operation. Nobody runs around putting DVD’s or even hitting accept buttons.

      1. Umm you’d be surprised. Store employees do all the images on the machines. Apple vary rarely uses it technology for it own benefit. They prefer in this case to send external hard drives and use disk utility and there you have it.

  6. Apple has never released an operating system by surprise before. If those GB of data really are Lion, it seems more likely that it would be installed only on a couple of demo machines in each store.

    Sometimes Apple is forced to disclose something they had not planned to disclose. The top secret new feature in Leopard was Boot Camp. So many people were finding ways to install Windows on Intel Macs that Apple had to release it in beta for Tiger to prevent massive customer service problems.

    In this case, Apple probably wasn’t inclined to disclose the Apple Store makeover until too many people speculated about what Santa Jobs would put under their Christmas tree. Apple has to manage our expectations, because the rumors always get out of hand to the point that if Apple announces a cure for cancer, their stock goes down because they did’t announce that they terraformed Mars.

    My guess is that the rumors of Lion’s release are “designed in California” to forestall any rumors that they are going to release some sort of blockbuster application. They are cultivating a small disappointment to prevent a big disappointment. Preemptive damage control.

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