With Apple’s media event scheduled to kick off in under three hours, Apple has taken its online stores around the world offline. The change is standard operating procedure for Apple ahead of major events and new product releases. As expected, the Apple Store has gone down in anticipation of today’s hosted media event.
The iPad 2, will be announced at a special event today at 10 a.m. PT, and the Apple Store has just gone offline in preparation for one of the biggest product launches of the year. While the device is a physical mockup, it is said to have been based on the actual design of the second-generation iPad, which has been floating around amongst case manufacturers for some time and yielding increasingly-detailed mockups such as this one.
When the store comes back online, which should be shortly after the announcement, it will be showing off a shiny, new iPad, and we’ll be there every step of the way. Beyond the new iPad, Apple has been rumored to be previewing iOS 5 and revamping MobileMe. Last minute hints of a social-focused MobileMe revamp include claims of some sort of ‘social’ app for iOS devices, and trademark filings for “Places” and now a “stylized speech bubbles” icon in the area of social networking.