For the first time in years, the Apple Store is down ahead of WWDC

Happy WWDC day. Today kicks off Apple’s annual developer’s conference, with the traditional keynote starting at 10:00 a.m. PST (watch it right here). Generally, WWDC focuses on software features and developer tools, and not consumer hardware. But for WWDC 2022, Apple might reveal new consumer hardware that will be available for purchase after the keynote — that’s what the rumors say, at least.

And now the Apple Store is down. The last time Apple took down its online store ahead of WWDC, the company unveiled the second generation iPad Pro in 2017. When the Apple Store returned following the keynote, the new iPad Pro, with its then-new Apple Pencil, was immediately available for order and shipped the following week.

The status of the Apple Store has long been viewed as a sign of an upcoming product release.

For this year’s event, there are rumors that Apple will unveil hardware using its next-gen processor, the M2. This chip could power an updated MacBook Air or Mac Mini — both products were among the first to sport the M1 chip and are now due for an upgrade. The iPad is another M2 target. Apple is expected to unveil a new version of iOS that will bring a new user interface to the iPad to make it more desktop-like rather than a giant smartphone.

Expect the Apple Store to return to its normal operations following today’s WWDC Keynote. The show kicks off at 10:00 a.m. PST and generally lasts between an hour or two.

Read more about WWDC 2022 on TechCrunch