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Fifth Avenue Apple mega store to open May 19

As expected, Apple Computer will mark the fifth anniversary of its retail store initiative with the launch of a much anticipated flagship store in Midtown, Manhattan on May 19th at 6:00pm, the company has revealed.

In a teaser on its retail Web site, Apple has posted a running countdown to the store's launch along with a wireframe image of a cube that depicts the hollow, 32-foot glass structure that will mark the entranceway to the underground located at 767 Fifth Avenue at 59th Street.

"Celebrate the grand opening of the new Apple Store, Fifth Avenue," the company said. "Win great prizes. Get a commemorative t-shirt. Be one of the first to experience our amazing new store. We look forward to seeing you."

The 20,000-square retail outlet will be the company's second Manhattan, New York location, joining a similar-sized store on the lower half of the island known as the Apple Store Soho.

Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, is rumored to be mulling an appearance at the event. It's been report that Jobs personally designed and paid for the $9M glass cube that will undoubtedly be the highlight of the store.

The Midtown store is also rumored, but not confirmed, to be the first of the company's shops to service customers 24-hours a day.