Apple recently sent out invitations to a media event that will be held next week at its Cupertino headquarters. The invitation has a six-color Apple logo that appears to be from the posters Apple put up celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. It also includes a cryptic tagline that reads "It's been way too long."
There are some items that rumor sites and analysts are relatively sure are coming:
- An updated iMac with a high-resolution 4K Retina display
- A new iPad Air with a Touch ID fingerprint reader, plus a new gold color option and updated processor
- The release of OS X Yosemite, the newest version of the Mac operating system
- The launch of the Apple Pay mobile payments service alongside iOS 8.1
Then there are some other possible updates that haven't received as much attention:
- A new Mac Mini — this hasn't been updated in two years and could be part of the "been way too long" reference
- An updated iPad mini hasn't been referred to much in rumors, but it would be logical to see an upgrade alongside the iPad Air adding a new processor, Touch ID, and possibly a gold color option.
- The non-Retina MacBook Pro line now consists of a single 13-inch model that hasn't been updated since June 2012 other than a price cut in July. The model remains very popular with college students on a budget, and there have been rumors of an ultra-slim 12" MacBook Air that could take this device's spot in the lineup. This is very hazy, and (given the recent track record of Apple hardware being leaked before launch) it's unlikely that anything major on the laptop front is coming imminently
Developer Hamza Sood discovered references to a higher resolution iPad display in the iOS 8.1 developer beta, which was released in the past few days. It's possible that Apple will release a "Retina HD" iPad Air, with higher-resolution displays similar to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus released last month.
Recently, Apple has live-streamed its media events online for Mac and iOS users to view announcements in real-time (though the iPhone 6 announcement saw significant streaming glitches through the first half of the event), so interested customers should be able to see the launches as they happen at Apple.com.
Customers looking to purchase a new iPad, iMac, or Mac mini should hold off on their purchases until after the event, scheduled for 10:00 AM PDT next Thursday, October 16. It's likely that prices of existing products will drop if you'd rather have a better deal than the newest hardware, along with the new machines launching in the following weeks.
What are you expecting from Apple's second Autumn media event? Let us know in the comments below.
Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.