Apple is reportedly making some big changes to its brick-and-mortar retail locations — and it could hint at some major new developments on the horizon.
Over the weekend, voice technology expert Brian Roemmele tweeted that Apple would cover its store windows with black curtains before and during the company’s Apple keynote event.
Notably, Roemmele noted that this is the first time this has happened in years.
Here’s Why Apple’s Covering its Windows
Roemmele’s tweet was only a teaser and he didn’t reveal any other additional details. But on Monday, several other sources confirmed the teaser and revealed the reason why Apple is making this change.
Well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said that Apple is planning on bringing back “the old-school 3D front windows” at its Apple Store locations. MacRumors also confirmed this tidbit with one of their Apple Store sources.
Reportedly, Apple Store employees are being instructed to clean out and fix certain floor mechanisms that they haven’t used in some years. Staff also practiced putting up the black curtains.
If you aren’t familiar with the 3D storefronts, Apple Stores used to feature prominent window displays with varying, visually compelling designs. In his tweet, Gurman shared some photos of the practice.
Apple discontinued the 3D storefronts after the Apple retail experience was overhauled by former retail chief Angeles Ahrendts and top design lead Jony Ive. (It’s worth noting that Ahrendts has since left Apple and Ive is set to depart later this year.)
Now, it’s looking like Apple will bring back its eye-catching storefront designs. The real question is why.
What Could This Mean?
The most obvious answer is that the executives in charge of Apple’s previous retail redesign have left the company. Now that Apple Retail is being headed by a different executive, SVP of People Deirdre O’Brien, it’s probably going to see a change in direction.
But the new 3D storefronts are almost certainly related to Apple’s upcoming product roadmap.
The use of 3D designs and decorations in its stores, for example, could hint at some type of major augmented reality announcement. Even Apple’s keynote media invites seem to suggest a major AR unveiling is on the table for tomorrow.
There could be other possibilities, too. A rumor from earlier this year (as well as other related reports) suggested that Apple could be bringing back its classic rainbow logo. Both the “classic” Apple Store design and the iconic logo could be part of a new direction for Apple’s aesthetic and design philosophy.
Of course, this is all speculation. But Apple will undoubtedly reveal the true reason why at this year’s iPhone keynote event, which starts at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Sept. 10.