According to Apple Insider, Apple's scheduled a meeting later this week with all of its retail employees, asking each of them to sign non-disclosure agreements in advance. That's standard operating procedure when there's a major product announcement ahead. So what's on the horizon?

There's been a ton of heat lately around a MacBook Pro refresh, which many expect to come this Thursday. But are a dedicated OS SSD and high-speed Light Peak connections enough to merit a special meeting and possible media event? Well, sure, maybe. But Apple usually saves its Big Event bullets for Big Products. Like, say, the iPad 2.

We know iPad 2 is in production. We highly suspect that it will have features that merit some explaining—a FaceTime camera, better display, CDMA and GSM compatible—and a late February/early March announcement lines up perfectly with an April release. Which would be one year from when the first iPad hit shelves.

This is, of course, rampant speculation over an unconfirmed rumor. So take it with a giant grain of salt for now, then a slightly smaller one if new MacBook Pros arrive Thursday without much fanfare, then a nearly invisible one if Apple schedules a media event for next week.

Update: The good news is, it seems almost certain that the iPad 2 will be introduced on March 2nd. The bad news is, Business Insider is reporting that NYC Apple Store employees aren't signing NDAs after all. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next week. [AppleInsider]