The tech-savvy taste-makers who plan to attend this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) music and technology festival in Austin, Texas, may have had to miss out on one of 2011’s biggest gadget releases — that of Apple’s iPad 2 tablet — if they wanted to be at the festival for opening day this Friday. Luckily for them, Apple has reportedly decided to set up a temporary store in Austin to satisfy the needs of anyone who can’t wait until the end of ‘South by’ to get their hands on an iPad 2 — or at least can’t be bothered to leave the festival grounds.
The 5,000-square-foot store will be located in the Scarbrough Building on the corner of Congress Avenue and West Sixth Street in downtown Austin, reports the Austin Statemsan. Construction crews are currently working to retrofit the space with all the required Apple branding and design touches.
Apple’s decision to bring the store to SXSW appears to have been a last-minute one. According to real estate broker Rance Wilemon, who handled the deal, Apple representatives only notified him on Monday about their plans.
“They came in town on Monday, did a quick tour, found a spot, and they’re in there working and will open by Friday,” Wilemon told the Statesman. Wilemon concedes that he “would have loved to have had them” in Austin’s popular downtown Second Street district instead of the location the Apple chose. But he understands that the temporary store, which is expected to stay open for only two weeks, is intended to be more a part of SXSW than the city of Austin itself.
After all, Austin is already home to two Apple stores, which together reportedly bring in roughly $30 million per year.
Like anything else Apple, the company has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the store, with an official Apple spokesman only saying that he was “unaware of the store.”