Before It Even Begins, Apple Wins SXSW

Over the past week, there’s been a major dilemma in Geekland: what do we do on March 11?

You see, we’ve known for months that it’s the first day of the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. But last Wednesday, Apple announced it would also be the day that the iPad 2 officially goes on sale. The questions immediately began: do we keep our plans intact and head to Austin? Or do we hang back and wait in line for the iPad 2 at 5 PM? Luckily, Apple thought ahead.

Apple will be opening a temporary store in downtown Austin for two weeks beginning on yes, Friday, March 11. This will be in the¬†Scarbrough Building on Congress Avenue, according to Work began on the 5,000 square-foot space on Wednesday, and they’ll undoubtedly be working around the clock to get the space done in time.

Any why go to all this trouble? Naturally to sell a metric ton of iPad 2s.

Over the past several years, Apple has transformed the consumer electronic retail space into one big money-making machine. And they’re smart enough and prepared enough now to apparently take that show on the road. While Austin already has two other Apple Stores, neither is close to the Austin Convention Center, where SXSW is held. People had already been planning trips to the further-away stores to wait in line for the iPad 2 on Friday. Now Apple is bringing the action to them.

If there’s one thing SXSW is good for, it’s for flash mobs and hive-think. Once a few people see others with iPad 2s in their hands, everyone is going to want one. This temporary Apple Store is probably going to be the hottest venue in Austin for the week.

I just hope the temporary store has the rock-solid free WiFi that regular stores do.