With the release of the new iPad just days away Apple's retail stores are busy making preparations for the launch. Apple stores around the country are scheduled to open at 8 AM (instead of the customary 9 AM) on Friday to accommodate the increased store traffic for the launch.
While Apple has not specifically confirmed the expanded store hours, 9to5Mac has published an image reportedly forwarded to them by "a friend in retail." Check it out below:
Sources also indicate that Apple's retail employees will be working through the night on Thursday, and that staff presence in the store will be drastically increased on Friday. Retail staff who work during the extra time will also reportedly be getting a 10% bump in their pay.
New iOS devices have historically generated huge demand at launch. Packed stores and huge lines are not at all uncommon when Apple releases a new iPad or iPhone. With the pre-order stock of the new iPad running out in just two days and shipping times currently at 2-3 weeks, there are bound to be huge numbers of people trying their luck at Apple's retail stores on Friday morning. And Friday afternoon. And all through the weekend. In fact, if the iPad 2's launch is any indication, it may be a few weeks before supply fully catches up with demand for the new iPad.
What do you think? Will you be in line on Friday morning? Did you pre-order? Or will you let the furor die down a bit before getting yours? Let us know in the comments.