If you needed any more proof that Apple plans to release new products today, this is it. Apple’s online store went down on Tuesday morning around 8:20 a.m. ET ahead of the company’s big launch event. Apple employees typically take the online store down a few hours ahead of big events in order to upload new product information, and it often remains down until after the event is over. The company is expected to unveil two new larger iPhone models and unveil a wearable device, often referred to as the iWatch, breaking into a new product category for the first time in four years.
Apple’s online store has officially gone down. The company took its online store offline at approximately 5 a.m. PT on Tuesday as it prepares to update the site with whatever new products debut at its special press event starting at 10 a.m. PT. Tuesday’s event, taking place at the Flint Performing Arts Center in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, Calif., is one of the most anticipated product launches of the year. Consumers, analysts, and investors have been waiting for Apple to introduce the “amazing” new products that CEO Tim Cook has promised for more than a year. Cook, who took over as CEO from Steve Jobs three years ago, hasn’t yet taken the company into new markets beyond those established by his former boss. But he’s now expected to do just that with wearables, mobile payments, and other possible arenas. It’s believed that Apple will at least unveil the iPhone 6, but could also show off its first smartwatch or other wearable device. Apple could stand to expand beyond its current product offerings. It hasn’t entered a new category since Jobs unveiled the iPad tablet in 2010, and every new version of the iPhone, iPad, and Macintosh computer since then has been deemed evolutionary rather than revolutionary by reviewers and customers, leading to slowing profit and revenue growth. Apple generates about two-thirds of its sales from the iPhone and iPad, but the markets for those gadgets are becoming saturated, with rivals from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Samsung battling for customers and the billions they spend on mobile devices.