NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Could Apple ( AAPL) be on the verge of announcing its new store concept, Apple Store 2.0, just in time for the iPad Mini going on sale on Nov. 2?
Apple Store 2.0 on Nov. 2 -- get it? Before Steve Jobs passed away, he wanted to pioneer taking the already class-leading Apple retail store experience to the next level. As a result, he commissioned this Apple 2.0 pilot store to be built within walking distance of his Palo Alto, Calif., home, on University Avenue. I have been watching the construction for the last year, and it seems the Apple Store 2.0 is now nearing completion. Recently, I climbed up on a roof across the street in order to take a picture. The scaffolding is gone, and all the glass is covered in black tape. I can almost smell the coffee from the opening party. What will be found under this tape and glass? Will there be trees and grass on the floor? Will the typical Apple Store 1.0 look have changed? You betcha! And what better time to unveil Steve Jobs' last and physically largest masterpiece, than on Friday, Nov. 2, when one can surmise the iPad Mini goes on sale! Or maybe it will be called the iPad Air, reflecting the great laptop brand name also mimicking the "airier" nature of this new Apple Store 2.0 which may contain trees and grass on the floor? Aside from the Apple Store 2.0 being one of Steve Jobs' last pet projects, fully invented and designed before his passing little over a year ago, Apple will also need something to counter increasing competition from Google. Last Thursday afternoon, I brought the all-new revolutionary $249 Google laptop, made by Samsung, to an Apple store and flipped it up. When I put the Google ( GOOG) laptop next to the 11.6 inch Apple MacBook Air, the army of Apple sales staff jumped on me in a collective heart attack. Samsung made a copy of the MacBook Air? How much is it -- $1,000 or $1,500? When I told them $249, or 75% less than their MacBook Air's starting price, their faces became whiter than a headache pill. Apple had better pray that its superior marketing machine stays superior to Google's non-existent marketing machine. If Google ever opened 400 stores selling a $249 laptop that in many ways looks like a copy of the MacBook Air, it would be a tougher time for Apple. Google's problem is that consumer awareness of its PCs is closer to 0% than 1%. Apple's consumer awareness is closer to 100% than 99%.