On Thursday, a report from The Houston Chronicle noted that Apple’s Highland Village retail store will be opening on Friday, March 16. The store was originally scheduled to open on Saturday, March 17th, but was mysteriously bumped back a day to the Friday. This has lead to speculation that Apple is looking to have the store open for iPad 3 release date.
Apple’s iPad 3 keynote event is scheduled for March 7th, and will likely release the third-gen iPad in the following week as the company did with the iPad 2. In order to accommodate the long lines and large influx of customers, Apple’s new Highland Village Store will allow for better management of iPad 3 distribution and less traffic in Apple’s seven other retail locations in Houston.
The store, located in the Highland Village Shopping center at Westheimer and Drexel , was originally supposed to open in January, according to the source, but was delayed. March 17 was originally set as the new opening date, but the source said it was moved to the 16th a few weeks ago.
Apple’s Grand Openings typically take place on Saturdays, but may be moved to other days of the week to recognize special events or announcements. The March 16th opening would allow Apple exactly nine days following the announcement to ship the iPad 3’s to retail stores across the U.S.
Apple has does this in the past with the iPad 2, releasing the device on March 2nd and releasing it in stores at 5:00PM local time on March 11th. The Highland Village store is one of the few stores to adopt the same prototype design of the Upper West Side store in New York City. The Highland Village store is going to have the same glass-roof, front and back entrances, and tall brick wall above the glass. The store will be the first of Houston’s seven retail stores to be located outside of a shopping mall.