Apple Online Store goes offline ahead of today’s iPhone 7 event

With just a few hours left until Apple’s big reveal, the Apple Online Store has gone offline. “We’ve got something special in store for you,” reads the message. “And we can’t wait for you to see it.” Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2, new Beats accessories and more.

As usual, the store will come back online after the event has wrapped up.

This has become something of a ritual dance for Apple—whenever a major press event is imminent, the store goes offline. Some people have wondered how it is that mighty Apple cannot refresh its own web store without taking it offline entirely.

In years past, taking the store offline has served Apple well in terms of building anticipation ahead of events so this is more of a marketing tool than a technical issue.

Be sure to check out our own predictions for today’s event if you haven’t already.