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by , 9:50 AM EDT, April 5th, 2001

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied

Claud Cockburn

Consider it officially denied.

Apple has been coy about giving credence to rumors that the company will soon take a page from Gateway's playbook and open a national string of retails stores. Yet, weeks ago, a retail trade journal broke the story (keep in mind that trade journals don't sully their hands with innuendo and second-hand stories, unless there is truth therein).

Apple remained noncommittal, while increasingly more media outlets wrote that retail sites across the country are being considered, purchased and primed for 2001 openings.

AppleInsider has insisted for at least two years that Apple is planning a retail chain, long before recent reports began to pick up momentum. TMO itself broke the news on March 15th that four new sites had been added to the site list: Washington, DC; Atlanta; Dallas and Miami. Then this week, the AppleInsider posted another story, titled "Apple retail set for Minneapolis."

Twenty-four hours after the Appleinsider story was posted, TMO staff spoke with a Minneapolis resident (anonymity requested), who had sent his resumé to Apple in response to an ad posted to by Apple. The ad reads:

Technical support specialists needed for special project for Apple Computer. Requires extensive Macintosh knowledge, hardware repair, and customer service skills. Certification highly preferred. BA/BS or equivalent experience preferred.

It is a full-time job. No start date has been given.

It should be noted that our informant was called by an Apple representative. When he asked about the nature of the "special project," he was told that it was "a secret." He then rephrased his questions, asking will it be an Apple store. He was again told that ti was "a secret."

Read the job posting for yourself, for more information.

The Mac Observer Spin:

How much more proof do we need? This must be the worst kept secret in Apple's history, second only to those leaked iMac pictures from a year or so ago. Now's the time to begin asking not "if Apple will open stores," but "when Apple opens its stores..." Now, let's recap: Apple has the hardware, OS X, and the beginnings of a certification program. Couple this all with future hardware releases and the advent of a chain of retail stores, and we can safely say that the next year will indeed be an interesting one for the Mac world.

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