What’s inside Apple’s mystery tent?

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Apple's tiny white tent nestles between buildings at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Photo: Jim Merithew/ Cult of Mac
Apple's tiny white tent nestles between buildings at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Another Apple event, another mysterious building sprouting up seemingly overnight. They pop up to shield Apple’s prep work from prying eyes, but they also fuel the imaginations of anybody who’s interested in Cupertino’s next move.

The latest such structure — this time with solid white walls and a tented, tarp-like roof — isn’t nearly as elaborate as the gigantic building erected before last fall’s Apple Watch event, but the mysteries concealed could be gigantic.

The big reveal comes at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts next Monday, when we will almost assuredly learn more about the Apple Watch (among other things). Until then, all we can do is wait and wonder: What could be hidden inside Apple’s mystery tent?

Apple Geniuses on treadmills: Much has been made about the Apple Watch’s fitness-tracking capabilities. What better way to show off the wearable’s exercise chops than making some of Apple’s alpha geeks sweat?

Jimmy, Dre, Trent and a giant iTunes jukebox: With a Beats Music remix coming this year, perhaps Apple will assemble its musical brain trust to kick out the (streaming) jams. With Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and Trent Reznor all in the house, that tent’s gonna get full mighty fast.

Apple Watch display case: Apple’s will definitely hawk its most personal device ever in its most precious display case ever. As detailed in The New Yorker’s profile of Jony Ive, Apple’s design team has dreamed up specialized marketing hubs for the watch. Maybe it’s time for our first look.

Petting zoo for Apple Watch and Retina MacBook Air: The tent could be something as pedestrian as an area for journalists to get some quality hands-on time with new products — including the long-rumored Retina MacBook Air.

iCar on a spinning table: After all the high-octane rumors about Apple’s automotive ambitions, maybe the tent’s walls will drop away to give the world its first glimpse at Cupertino’s concept car. Highly unlikely, but dreams are dreams — and the cost of constructing a concept car is peanuts to a company with Apple’s cash hoard.

U2 encore: The Irish band’s lackluster performance during last fall’s Apple Watch event, and the poorly executed album giveaway it promoted, drew plenty of critical venom and inspired an actual tool to purge Songs of Innocence from iPhones everywhere. Still, the stunt did give the album an undeniable promo boost. Maybe it’s time for a shot at redemption.

Jony Ive’s VIP lounge: The Apple Watch is a Jony Ive production, so perhaps he’ll be toasting movers and shakers with the finest champagne in a private lounge far from the sweaty journalist riffraff who will be anxiously pawing whatever new products see the light of day. The VIP lounge’s most dazzling feature: a sapphire crystal mirror ball.

What mysteries are concealed behind Apple's tiny white tent? Photo: Jim Merithew/ Cult of Mac
What mysteries are concealed behind Apple’s tiny white tent? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac