Apple: No SXSW Apple Store this Year

Apple won’t be setting up a temporary store for Austin’s South By Southwest event as it did last year. The “pop-up” store last year coincided with the release of the iPad 2, leading to speculation that even though Apple is hosting a media event on Wednesday that it won’t be selling new iPad models in time for this weekend’s launch of South By Southwest.

No SxSW Apple Store this yearNo SXSW Apple Store this year

News that the temporary store won’t be back for this year’s event came courtesy of Apple, according to

The South By Southwest Interactive Festival runs from March 9 through March 13. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 3 at a media event on March 7, only two days ahead of the SXSW kickoff, and presumably too close to the announcement date to get the new multimedia tablet model into a temporary store.

The lack of a SXSW temporary Apple Store shouldn’t, however, be seen as proof that the company won’t ship the new iPad only two days after its announcement. Apple may be skipping SXSW simply because it didn’t see the return on investment last year that company executives hoped for.

Even though Apple won’t have a temporary store at the event, shoppers can still pick up their Macs, iPhones and iPads at Austin’s two retail locations. Apple has stores at Barton Creek and The Domain — where iPads will be available regardless of which version is currently shipping.

Apple hasn’t confirmed that it will introduce a new iPad model on Wednesday, although it does seem highly likely that the company will do just that. Exactly when the iPad 3 will ship is still a closely guarded secret.