After launching two new iPhone models, Apple says it still has a lot more to cover. The company is planning to make those announcements during a Tuesday event in San Francisco. New iPads are a certainty, but there’s plenty more that Apple could have in store for consumers ahead of the holiday shopping season. Here’s what you should — and shouldn’t — expect from Apple’s October 22nd event, scheduled to kick off at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. As always, The Verge will be there live providing in-depth coverage on all of Apple’s latest announcements.
The iPad 4 arrived just six months after the third-generation iPad, an atypically quick refresh that was largely attributed to Apple’s introduction of the Lightning connector. But now the company seems to have settled back on an annual update cycle. Leaked photos and videos indicate that the next iPad will borrow heavily from the iPad mini’s design. The full-size tablet has apparently been slimmed down to match the thickness of the current mini, while sticking with its tried-and-true 9.7-inch Retina display. Some of Jony Ive’s favorite design cues — including chamfered edges and the reflective Apple logo seen in recent products — are also visible.
Image credit: Sonny Dickson
We fully expect the next full-size iPad to incorporate Apple’s powerful 64-bit A7 chipset. Assuming the company sticks to its recent pattern, the iPad 5′s processor will be branded as the A7X, a slightly upgraded SOC optimized for the heavy pixel density of the iPad’s Retina display. As for storage, Apple may choose to stick with its current configurations of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The introduction of a 256GB model doesn’t seem out of the question, but Apple has proven oddly hesitant in bumping up flash capacity — as evidenced by the lack of a 128GB iPhone 5S. We also presume Apple is eager to bring its intuitive (and well-received) Touch ID fingerprint sensing technology to the flagship iPad. Expect to see it on the full-size model, though we’re less convinced it will make its way down to the iPad mini, at least for this year.
SECOND-GENERATION IPAD MINI
Here, it’s all about the Retina display. In terms of resolution, Apple’s original iPad mini has been left in the rear view mirror by the competition. The comparison is especially damning when the mini is lined up against Google’s Nexus 7, which blows it away in display sharpness while carrying a cheaper price tag. Going another year without the “see no pixels” Retina display would immediately handicap the new iPad mini next to Android and Windows alternatives. Apple would presumably still sell millions, but we’d wager the company will finally be pulling even (or ahead) come Tuesday. Whether it plans to wage a pricing war with Google, and cut down on its profit margins in the process, is another matter entirely. The original iPad mini could theoretically remain in the lineup as a lower-priced option to fill that gap.
Image credit: Sonny Dickson
As for what’s inside, the new mini will likely be fitted with some variant of Apple’s A6 processor, meaning it won’t make the leap to 64-bit this year. But it may come in colors: purported images of the device hint it may be available in the same space gray, silver, and gold color tones of the iPhone 5S.
It’s that time of year again. Apple always refreshes its iPod line before holiday shopping gets underway, so a new iPod touch and iPad nano should arrive very soon. Still, we’ve seen no leaks or credible rumors foretelling anything about new iPods. And as usual, the fate of the iPod classic, which has gone years without a notable upgrade or storage increase, remains uncertain. Apple has struggled with saying goodbye to the music player that started it all, but 2013 may finally mark the end of a classic.
OS X MAVERICKS
Work on Apple’s latest desktop OS wrapped up earlier this month when the company delivered a finalized, Golden Master version of OS X Mavericks to developers. With the software now ready to go, Apple could choose to release it immediately following Tuesday’s event by way of the Mac App Store. Pricing for OS X Mavericks hasn’t yet been disclosed, but with last year’s Mountain Lion upgrade costing only $19.99, Apple may decide to get even more aggressive in bringing its desktop users up to date this time around. Among the standout features in OS X Mavericks: desktop apps for Maps and iBooks, vastly improved support for multiple displays, and the death of skeuomorphism.
THE ALL-NEW MAC PRO
For months, Apple has attached a “fall 2013″ shipping timeframe to the redesigned Mac Pro Phil Schiller was so proud of at WWDC. The new flagship desktop Mac represents Apple’s most ambitious grab at videographers, photographers, and other professional users in years, and Tuesday’s event would be a perfect occasion to share more details — and the sky-high price that we assume will come along with them.
UPDATED MACBOOK PROS AND MAC MINI
Apple’s MacBook Air received Intel’s latest Haswell chips (and the stunning uptick in battery life they provide) earlier this year. But the company still needs to bring the new processors to its other portables, including the MacBook Pro with Retina display. Haswell’s graphical prowess will be of most benefit to the 13-inch model, but improved longetivty will be a welcome addition to buyers of Apple’s top-of-the-line laptops. Presumably the regular, non-Retina MacBooks will also see a modest update with new processors and performance boosts.
With MacBooks out of the way, the Mac mini will be the only other Apple hardware yet to make the Haswell leap. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple update its miniature desktop machine during Tuesday’s event; it wouldn’t eat up much stage time, and Apple obviously has an interest in keeping the entire Mac line up to speed.
APPLE TV, BUT NOT AN APPLE TELEVISION (AND NO IWATCH)
Call it a “hobby” or whatever you’d, but Apple’s tiny black set-top box has caught on with consumers and reliably sells in the millions each year. Apple TV is due for a refresh, and AllThingsD has been insistentthat an updated model is on the way. It’s not expected to be a major departure from Apple’s current living room strategy; the fabled Apple-branded television will have to wait.
The same can likely be said for Apple’s rumored “iWatch” wearable device. The gears are clearly in motion; Apple has poached some of the top talent responsible for Nike’s FuelBand, and the company just hired a retail VP that knows a thing or two about fashion. But there’s been no strong evidence that Apple will make its grand entrance to a new market this year, so you’ll have to be content with that Pebble until 2014.
Perhaps, as it has occasionally done before, Apple is hinting of an actual product with its event invitation. If so, one popular theory is that a larger iPad could be the company’s surprise announcement on Tuesday afternoon. Rumors of Apple upsizing its popular tablet have come from typically reliable sources including The Wall Street Journal, which recently reported that the company has a 13-inch iPad in testing. But a lack of any leaks or photos revealing such a device suggests either that Apple has done a tremendous job keeping it secret, or that it’s release may be scheduled for later in the year or early 2014. Apple may also unveil it’s own physical keyboard (or touch “cover”) as a companion to such a device. But consider this one a long shot.
So with all that said, what should you expect Tuesday? New iPads are all but guaranteed, as is a release date and pricing for OS X Mavericks. We’re confident that Apple will share more on its new Mac Pro, and Haswell updates across the MacBook Pro line seem likely. The company also needs to release new iPods, and it’s getting late in the year to hold yet another standalone event. Apple said there’s a lot to cover, after all. Just how much? Keep it locked on The Verge this Tuesday to find out.
Courtesy of The Verge