South by Southwest (SXSW) starts on Friday March 11, and the iPad 2 (s aapl) goes on sale on the same day. Apple has two stores in Austin, where SXSW is held, but when you’re hosting thousands of gadget-hungry geeks, two stores is not enough. That’s why Apple is opening a temporary store (via The Statesman) that will exist for only two weeks, beginning March 11.
The special store will occupy a 5,000 square-foot space (room for plenty of impatient bloggers and app developers) in the Scarborough Building at the corner of Congress Avenue and West 6th Street (see map below). Apple began preparing the space on Wednesday, so it probably won’t look exactly like a finished permanent Apple Store on the inside when it does open, although you never know what Apple is capable of in 48 hours.
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Just the other day. Stacey Higginbotham, who’ll be covering SXSW for GigaOM this year, was talking to me about how Austin would be an absolute mad-house with the iPad 2 launch falling on festival kick-off day. This new temporary store should alleviate some of that craziness, although only if Apple has enough stock to satisfy demand, which should be considerable given the tone of early iPad 2 reviews. You can bet that if it’s going to the trouble of building a giant temporary sales floor, it probably has a fairly healthy supply headed to Austin.
Will you be at SXSW? If so, will the new iPad 2 store be one of your first stops?