Rumored Houston Retail Store Grand Opening Sparks Speculation of iPad 3 Launch on March 16

The Houston Chronicle reports that Apple's forthcoming Highland Village retail store will be opening on Friday, March 16. According to the report's source, the store was originally scheduled to open in January, but delays in the construction schedule pushed the opening back to Saturday, March 17. But just weeks ago the opening was bumped up by a day to March 16, sparking speculation that the company is seeking to have the store open for an iPad 3 launch on that day.

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 retail store grand openings for the public typically take place on Saturdays, although they are occasionally held on different days of the week when special circumstances dictate.

An iPad 3 launch on March 16 would line up nicely with Apple's media event scheduled for next Wednesday, March 7, putting the launch nine days after the event. The exact same timing occurred last year with the iPad 2 being introduced on March 2 and debuting at 5:00 PM local time on March 11. Pre-orders were not available for the iPad 2, leaving those looking to get their hands on the device as soon as possible to line up for the limited launch stock.

houston highland village store
Photo by Dwight Silverman / Houston Chronicle

The Highland Village store is among the first of Apple's retail stores to be based on a prototype design from the company's Upper West Side store in Manhattan. Similar designs are in the works in Santa Monica and Palo Alto. Utilizing an all-glass roof and entrances at front and back, the Highland Village store will be the first of the Houston area's seven Apple retail stores to be located outside of a shopping mall.

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Top Rated Comments

nfl46 Avatar
160 months ago
Maybe I misread it. But if I am understanding this correctly, people think the iPad 3 is coming out on March 16th because ONE store launch date got moved from the 17th to 16th?

o_O
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JS77 Avatar
160 months ago

So we had better be sitting in front of the screen midnight March 9th because these are gonna go fast.

Apple could release a pencil sharpener and there would be a line outside every Apple Store...

...good lord, what has Apple turned us all into?? :o
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nickelt Avatar
160 months ago
This is a hilarious story.

Yes... Apple is waiting for ONE store. In Houston. Yeah. Hold on world, investors, Wall Street, employees, Chinese manufacturers: we have to wait for someone to install wood floors in Houston.
You didnt read it right. Apple isnt waiyin for this store to release the ipad 3. The store is going to open a day early for the ipad3
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Darth.Titan Avatar
160 months ago
A brand new store with a brand new staff, and Apple wants to dump a new product release on them the first day?

Glad I don't work for Apple.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blorzoga Avatar
160 months ago
I think this a clue that a 16" iPad is coming out
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
writingdevil Avatar
160 months ago
Do you really think apple would put newbies into a brand new store and throw a launch at them? absolutely not!
they grabbed employees from the surround 5 apple stores (who've already been trained and done multiple launches) and used them as a foundation for the new store's employment.

sincerely-
former apple epmloyee 3years.

It's amazing how (some) people assume the big A never considered things like this. Stuns me, but then, this is a place where everybody has an opinion, kinda like at a bar...after midnight or so.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)