Work speeds up on new ‘prototype’ Apple store

What were you doing at 7 a.m. this beautiful Saturday morning?

If you were one of the 12 construction workers building Apple’s new “prototype” store in Palo Alto, Calif., you were working hard as the sun came up. Seven workers were pouring concrete, and another five were working on the roof.

Workers on the roof of what appears to be Apple's new Palo Alto, Calif. store, at 7am on Saturday morningSince hiring construction workers to be on the job early Saturday usually means paying them double time (or at least time and a half), that suggests that the contractor is in a big hurry to get the job done before a hard deadline. That could be October, when Apple is rumored to be planning another major announcement — perhaps for the iPad mini, but also possible for a new TV product from Apple.

Apple hasn’t officially acknowledged that this store belongs to it. But many details, including the store’s design, strongly suggest that it is a new Silicon Valley flagship location for the consumer electronics giant. In addition, the store’s location puts it directly adjacent to two of the highest-bandwidth Internet connection points in the Valley: the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX) and a big AT&T switching facility. The store includes direct connections to both of these facilities, which suggests that it has an unusually high need for fast, low-latency Internet connectivity.

In short, it’s a fantastic location for a showcase of streaming video and Internet TV products.

It’s circumstantial evidence. But it’s another strong suggestion that Apple is planning to unveil a new TV product in October.

The photo above show the storefront as it appears today. Below, planning documents show what the storefront will soon look like.

Rendering of the new Apple store at 340 University Ave., Palo Alto

Top photo: VentureBeat. Bottom image: Via Palo Alto Online.