Apple has One More Thing up its sleeve – another event produced a month after the last launch gave us new iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. So you can expect the company to use the latest Apple event to finish rolling out new products just as holiday shopping starts to heat up.
With all of those devices Apple unveiled in September, it doesn’t take a lot of guesswork to figure out that Apple’s Mac lineup could take some time in the limelight. But unlike the Google Pixel Fall Launch which will take place the day after Apple’s shindig on October 18, Apple has really had no idea what to expect when its live stream begins at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT on Monday. So while we have a general idea of what’s on the agenda, the actual details remain a mystery.
Still, we can make some pretty educated guesses about new Apple products to come, based on the rumors we’ve heard so far about what’s in the works. Here’s a look at what we expect to see at the October Apple event, and what could be left out.
October Apple Event: What We Expect
New MacBook Pro: This one is pretty obvious, although we didn’t hear a steady pace of rumors surrounding a new 14in MacBook Pro and 16in MacBook Pro. The invitation to Apple’s event alone is the signal – titled “Unleashed,” this suggests we’ll see more news on Apple’s efforts to release more Macs powered by Apple-designed chips. .
In the case of newer MacBook Pro models, it would be the M1X processor. This should be a variant of the M1 chip which debuted last year, only this version will offer more CPU and GPU cores. Additionally, the M1X would offer more Thunderbolt channels and support for multiple external monitors. It sounds like the kind of pro-focused processor that fits the audience of Apple’s professional-grade MacBook Pro models perfectly.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro is rumored to offer a mini-LED display and a new flat-edge design. These additions are also planned for the 16in MacBook Pro, as well as, you know, a bigger screen. Expect the touch bar to disappear as the HDMI and SD card slots make a return. MagSafe could also return to the MacBook Pro line – it’s the detachable charging cable, not the wireless feature of the same name included with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.
A new Mac mini: The Mac mini got on the M1 chip train last year, but Apple apparently already has a revamp in the works. Rumors suggest the small desktop could also receive the M1X chipset, while renderings indicate the Mac mini could get even smaller. The new design isn’t as big as the current Mac mini, and leaker Jon Prosser took it a step further, saying the revamped Mac mini would have a plexiglass top on its aluminum closure for a two-tone look.
Is the Mac mini asking for an update? Not exactly, but the additional CPU and GPU cores, as well as the additional Thunderbolt channels, are a perfect match for what users are turning to the Mac mini. A jump to the M1X chipset seems natural.
A release date for macOS 12 Monterey: In September, Apple rolled out the software updates it first presented at its June developer conference – well, all but one. macOS 12 Monterey is awaiting release, and a Mac-focused product event seems like the perfect time to bring the new software to the world. At least there will be new hardware to run it.
It’s been several months since the preview of macOS 12 Monterey, so here’s a quick recap. The new Mac software adds Mac support for many of the same features introduced in iOS 15, including live text for capturing text from images and support for FaceTime SharePlay, assuming that feature is also ready to be available for iPhones and iPads. Just like on these devices, Safari is getting a major overhaul on the Mac, and Notes adds organizational features as well as a handy Quick Notes feature. Universal Control, a new feature that allows you to control up to 3 iPads and Macs with the same keyboard and mouse, has been MIA from beta versions of macOS 12, so it’s possible Apple will let us know about it. status of this feature.
The fact that there are so many changes coming with macOS 12 Monterey leads us to speculate that we might get a recap of what’s new during the Unleashed event on October 19.
October Apple Event: What We Won’t Expect
AirPod 3: OK, I’m probably wrong about this. Like the MacBook Pro announcements above, rumors fly fast and furiously about Apple’s updated AirPods expected to add more sophisticated audio features such as support for Dolby Atmos and spatial audio. . Active noise cancellation could also be in the cards, as Apple is also redesigning its wireless headphones to have shorter stems.
So it looks like the AirPods 3 are coming at some point. I’m just not showing that a largely Mac-focused event is the place to do it.
It’s true that Apple could give us a rundown of the iPhone 13 – the company never passes up a chance to take a victory lap – and in this segment it could roll out its latest AirPods. But otherwise, the connection between the Mac and the AirPods is tenuous. Also, the AirPods 3 are starting to have the same aura about them as the Apple AirTag – a long-standing feature that doesn’t show up in several different Apple product launches before finally appearing.
Still, given the state of development of the AirPods 3, you could argue that Apple won’t let the holiday season go by without giving people new AirPods to choose from. This can force the issue whether or not an AirPod ad integrates with a Mac event.
Apple M2 processor: We mentioned the M1X above, which is an expansion and not a successor to the M1 chipset introduced last year. The successor role will be played by the M2, and this chip is not expected until next year.
When it arrives, the M2 will be built on a 4nm process, compared to the 5nm M1 family. This should mean an improvement in performance and efficiency over the M1. (For more on the differences between the two chipsets, check out our M1X vs M2 comparison.) Still, no one expects newer MacBook Pro models to come with the M2. Instead, the next MacBook Air is supposed to be the lucky recipient, and that laptop isn’t expected to arrive until the first half of 2022.
Anything other than a Mac: Just before Apple’s announcements in September, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman tweeted that a second Apple event was likely in October, with this event focused on Macs and iPads. He’s clearly right about the timing, but we don’t think the iPad part is going to happen. This is mainly because the iPad Air 5 – the most likely candidate for the next tablet to come out of Cupertino – seems to be more likely to appear in early 2022 instead of next week.
Indeed, Apple believes it has a very busy period ahead of it for the first few months of next year. That’s when an iPhone SE 3 is supposed to appear, bringing 5G connectivity to Apple’s compact and cheaper smartphone. Add in the iPad Air and – if it’s MIA again next week – the AirPods 3, and Apple has plenty of products on hold without having to distract itself from its Mac efforts when it launches on October 19.
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