3 Things to Expect at Apple’s October Media Event
A little over a month after Apple unveiled its iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch, the California-based company is expected to hold its next major launch event. While a previous rumor reported by The Daily Dot suggested that the event would be held on Tuesday, October 21, Re/code’s usually reliable sources recently predicted that Apple’s next big media event will take place on Thursday, October 16. It should be noted that Re/Code’s sources correctly predicted that Apple’s last media event would be held on Tuesday, September 9 before it was publicly confirmed.
Just like Apple’s September media event is traditionally focused on the company’s new iPhone models, the October media event usually centers on its latest iPad models. Unlike last month’s event that was hosted in the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino and featured a mini concert from a well-known Irish quartet, this month’s event will be held in the smaller Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino and is expected to be a much more low-key affair.
While updates to the iPad product line are widely expected to make an appearance at the event, as with almost everything that Apple makes, there is still plenty of mystery about many of the products’ details. It is also unknown what other new products Tim Cook and company may have up their sleeves. Needless to say, there is plenty of speculation from industry watchers to make up for Apple’s deafening silence on the subject. Here are the latest rumors about what to expect at Apple’s upcoming media event.
Let’s get the most obvious rumor out of the way: new iPad models are expected. Last year, Apple introduced the “Air” moniker for its larger 9.7-inch iPad model in order to emphasize the device’s thinness and lightness. Apple will likely keep the Air designation for the next generation of its larger tablet, which may be called the iPad Air 2. Apple is also expected to unveil the next-generation iPad mini with Retina display. However, according to GforGames, only the iPad Air 2 will hit store shelves before the end of the year. The new 7.9-inch iPad isn’t expected to become available until early 2015.
According to insider sources cited by Bloomberg, the iPad Air 2 will include a gold color option along with the silver and gray colors that are already available. This will align the color options for the flagship iPad with the three color options that were introduced with the iPhone 5S and continued with the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Both new iPad models are also expected to be upgraded with the latest A8 processor.
On the other hand, while KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seemed confident that the larger iPad model would be outfitted with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, he was less certain about the next-generation iPad mini with Retina display according to a research note obtained by Apple Insider. However, he did not completely rule out the possibility that both new iPad models would feature the Touch ID technology. While neither of the new iPad models are expected to feature major design changes, leaked images of an iPad Air 2 mockup model provided by Japan’s ASCII Plus site suggested that the new model may have a slightly redesigned camera lens, larger speaker grills, and a slightly thinner body.
Besides the widely expected refreshed iPad models, Apple is also rumored to be debuting new iMac models at its upcoming event. According to insider sources cited by 9to5Mac, new iMac models with high-resolution Retina displays are currently in the final testing stages at Apple, which suggests that a new 27-inch iMac and a new 21.5-inch iMac may be unveiled at the next media event.
A separate report from blogger Jack March cited another insider source who claimed that the 27-inch iMac will be upgraded with a Retina display that will double its screen resolution to 5,120 by 2,880 pixels from 2,560 by 1,440 pixels. However, March’s source also claimed that the 21.5-inch iMac would not be upgraded with a Retina display until faster Broadwell processors become available on the market. Either way, this would mark the first time that Apple has brought its Retina display technology to its desktop computer.
OS X Yosemite
If Apple does debut new iMac models at the upcoming event, it would offer a nice hardware complement to the expected launch of its new desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite. A new iTunes 12 release is also expected alongside the new OS. Apple first introduced the new software at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2014. Since then, the company has seeded multiple beta builds for the public and developers, with a “golden master” developer version released late last month, as reported by MacRumors.
The new OS X Yosemite incorporates the flatter, more minimalist design style that was first unveiled in the iOS 7 mobile operating system. It also includes new features for apps like Safari and Mail, a new Today view in Notification Center, and enhanced continuity features that make it easier for users to work across Apple’s Mac and iOS devices.
“Yosemite is the future of OS X with its incredible new design and amazing new apps, all engineered to work beautifully with iOS,” said Apple’s Craig Federighi. “We engineer our platforms, services and devices together, so we are able to create a seamless experience for our users across all our products that is unparalleled in the industry. It’s something only Apple can deliver.”
Assuming that Re/Code’s sources are correct, Apple fans will find out if the rumors about the company’s upcoming products are true on Thursday, October 16.
Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)