Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Spitballing Apple’s October Event

Update: This list has been graded. I did alright.

Apple’s October event has finally been announced. Since I’ve been making some completely unsourced predictions and guesses lately, I figured a few more couldn’t hurt. As usual, I’ll score myself post-event to provide an illusion of accountability.

Count On
  • Mac Pro: I anticipate Apple will announce the shipping date and pricing of the new Mac Pro. I wouldn’t be surprised to see nods to new Thunderbolt accessories and a demo of an updated Final Cut Pro during this segment.
  • Mavericks: The gold master of Mavericks is out, and it’s almost certainly going to be released this month. Count on a short demo with a shipping date and pricing. I don’t think it will be free — Apple doesn’t use that kind of accounting for Mac sales — but I think it might be in the $20-30 range.
  • iOS 7 update: I don’t expect anything other than bug fixes and iCloud Keychain support (and, perhaps, some information on iOS in the Car).
  • iPad: I’m betting on iPad Mini-like hardware, available in “space grey”, silver, and (probably) gold. I’m hesitant on the gold, though.

    I also think that it will be receiving an A7X processor. Based on Anandtech’s benchmarks, I initially thought that Apple might simply put a standard A7 in there. However, while the graphics performance is double that of the A6, the A7 therefore equals the graphics performance of the A6X of the fourth-generation iPad. I think Apple’s still going to push that performance farther, espcially for the gaming advantage. I also think it will receive the M7 for the same reason.

  • iPad Mini: I anticipate that there will be a model which receives a spec bump, with a die-shrunk A6 processor and availability in space grey, silver, and gold. I’m not as sure that this will receive the M7.

Bet a Sandwich On
  • MacBook Pro: They haven’t received the Haswell love yet, which should improve both battery life and graphics performance (especially on the 13 inch model). I’m also anticipating 802.11ac wireless support. There might be more in the bag for these, given the gap between the release of updated Airs in the summer and these updates, but I doubt anything significant.
  • Retina iPad Mini: I think this is going to use a similar display to the iPhone 5, but without the in-cell touch technology or lamination. It’ll probably use a die-shrunk A6X SoC, or an A7 — I’d bet on the latter. Likely available in the same colours as the iPad Mini, and likely released as a separate product (ie. I don’t anticipate it will replace the non-retina iPad Mini this year).
  • iPad 2: I think this is the year it might be entirely dropped from the lineup.
  • iWork: I anticipate updates for both platforms. The iOS suite will likely see an interface facelift to bring it in-line with iOS 7, while the OS X apps might get some new features or something. I don’t really know.
  • Updated apps: Speaking of iOS, I think Apple will release updates to their apps for the platform, including Find My Friends, iBooks, and Remote. I’m not certain they’ll be shown during the event, though.
Bet a Coffee On
  • iPod Classic: The day after the event — October 23 — will mark twelve years since its introduction. I think it might be dropped this year. Apple doesn’t strike me as a very melancholic company, but the product’s impact might warrant some sort of tribute.
  • iPad Mini pricing: The $329 price of the iPad Mini struck me as odd. I think the Mini might be cut to $299, with the retina Mini at $399, and the big iPad at $499.
  • Touch ID: Touch ID seems tailored for the iPhone right now. I don’t think iPads will get the feature this year.
  • Thunderbolt Display: In-line with the Mac Pro news, a Thunderbolt Display with the same thin, laminated display as the 2012 iMacs might be in store. And, hey, it might have a 4K display (though I doubt this — those panels are still monstrously expensive).
Bet a Nickel On
  • Apple TV update: Perhaps the Apple TV might see an update in its current form factor. I doubt it, though — the current Apple TV does what it needs to do, and it does it well.
No Chance
  • Any sort of Apple TV set: Not gonna happen this year. Sorry, Gene.
  • Any sort of Apple smartwatch: I think January is more likely, if it’s slated for the next six months, for example.
Are You High?