What to expect from Apple in October

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2020
There's no guarantee that Apple will have an October event this year, but it is now officially fall. Between announcements, and a lot of rumors, there is a huge amount of hardware and services that we expect to see released very soon.

Tim Cook on stage at WWDC 2019
Tim Cook on stage at WWDC 2019


It's a curious thing, but we're all expecting Apple to hold an event in October that will see the release of new iPad Pro models -- and perhaps we shouldn't. Maybe Apple will do precisely this, certainly there are reasons to suspect it will, but actual evidence points in any number of different directions

That does include the possibility that no, Apple won't have an event in October. In the last eight years, it's had an October event six times. And only in three of those did it mention the iPad.

Plus Apple is simply releasing so much these days that products which would previously debuted at an event, have instead seen the light of day in a press release. Apple did that earlier in 2018 when it wanted its Apple TV+ event to focus solely on that service, for instance, and we've now repeatedly seen upgrades issued very quietly. And, it did it with two MacBook Pro revisions this year as well.

Apple TV+ is launching in November and it's hard to see Apple devoting another event to that, since it's unlikely to have any shows we don't know about, and it's hard to get all of that talent back for a rerun.






However, it's easier to see Apple doing what it did at the September iPhone launch and lead off a new event with a last push for Apple TV+.

It's still possible that we'll see the Apple TV hardware updated, most likely with a new and faster processor. If that happens, though, it's something that is likely to have more visible effect with the performance of Apple Arcade rather than Apple TV+.

Still, if the new TV service was what made Apple cut out its hardware launches earlier this year, new hardware could be an excellent peg for talking about the service again this October.

What we know is coming

We are in the decreasingly unusual position, though, of knowing at least some of Apple's forthcoming products in every detail -- except the actual release date.

Specifically, we know the Mac Pro is coming in the fall, and we know when the fall is. We just do also know that Apple's definition of any season gets stretched to its limit when they're talking about a release schedule.

The forthcoming Mac Pro
The forthcoming Mac Pro


Look up the official date when the fall ends, and you'll be surprised to find that there are two different ones. Most of us, probably unknowingly, go by what's called the meteorological seasons, which means winter officially starts on December 1 when we put our heavy coats on.

There is, though, an astronomical season, which is to do with the positioning of the Earth and the sun, or possibly between Apple and its manufacturing cycle. It might be pushing things if Apple wanted to claim that astronomical date for the end of the fall, Saturday December 21, but it could.

There is also the fact that Apple has officially said that production of the Mac Pro will start in Texas shortly. That is production rather than shipping, but Apple does not stockpile any more than it has to.

Plus whenever it finally ships, it's hard to picture Apple pulling off another event based around the Mac Pro. Yet that machine could benefit from the promotion of some on-stage exposure.

We also know that Adobe Photoshop is coming to the iPad this year. And we're already nearing the stage where if your company hasn't yet booked its Christmas party, you should bring it up at the next meeting.

Adobe demonstrating Photoshop on the iPad Pro in October 2018
Adobe demonstrating Photoshop on the iPad Pro in October 2018


Apple is also not going to stage an event just for Photoshop, though.

Not enough

Yet here we are with several things that are big but have already been covered in events and don't appear to warrant another one.

Which means it's easier to see an event in which they are all covered. Tim Cook could come out on stage and say some impressive fact about Apple TV+, maybe including new hardware. And then he announces the Mac Pro release date in the same manner he did with Apple TV+ at the iPhone event.

None of that could really make a strong event, but based on what else the supply chain is telling us, there is something that might.

It's as certain as can be that there are new iPad Pro models coming, and it's at least consistently rumored that they will arrive in October.

Apple does like showing off the thickness -- sorry,
Apple does like showing off the thickness -- sorry, "thinness" -- of its new devices.


Whenever they come, it's rumored that they will feature the same triple-lens camera system that was introduced with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max in September.

This is perhaps the least certain of all the expectations about Apple's next hardware. But now that we've seen what this camera system can bring, we wouldn't be surprised if Apple showed us some incredible photos -- and then had Adobe demonstrate working on them with Photoshop on iPad.

All of this would mean that, so far, such a hypothetical event would also be very Pro-focused, which Apple seems to like this year. There'd be the Mac Pro device we knew for sure is coming, there'd be the iPad Pro we're pretty certain is coming.

And then there could be the device that's pretty convincingly rumored but as yet not quite as strongly as the iPad Pro models.

MacBook Pro

If Apple does have an October event, it will need something new. Even if we didn't know about the iPad Pro models and didn't suspect the triple-camera system, it doesn't feel as if they would make a big enough splash as they're unlikely to be as radically altered as last year's.

That said, few expected Apple's September iPhone event to be significant, and perhaps no one expected just how big a difference a third lens could make.

And there is room for a surprise on the iPad Pro -- we're not really expecting to see it yet, but a next obvious move for Apple is to bring OLED screens to these devices.

MacBook Pro. We want one too.
MacBook Pro. We want one too.


If we're unlikely to get that this year, though, what we could get is the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Of the past six October events, Apple has unveiled some form of MacBook Pro or MacBook Air four times. This year the rumors, chiefly backed by reliable sources within the supply chain, have pointed to the imminent release of a 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air has already seen an update in 2019.

As with previous alterations to the iPads, that increased screen size is expected to come via a reduction in the bezel around the display. That display is believed to be an LCD one -- not OLED -- with 3,072 pixels by 1,920, and would actually be 16.4 inches.

With this screen fitting into the same casing as the current 15-inch model, it would be logical for Apple to discontinue that current model. However, pricing for the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is expected to start at over $3,000. The current smaller model begins at $2,399.

Still, if the cheaper price is the sole advantage that the 15-inch MacBook Pro has over the 16-inch, its days are surely numbered. That number is just going to be a lot more than the 31 that are in October.

Pickings

With any event, and more recently with any series of Apple press releases, there is always the same cycle. Beforehand, there are predictions, and afterwards there is a reckoning, a tallying of what Apple chose not to unveil.

Images within an internal Apple build of iOS 13 point to Apple Tags being close to ready
Images within an internal Apple build of iOS 13 point to Apple Tags being close to ready


Sometimes that's just a way of excusing a failed prediction -- Apple would've brought out the car, only they couldn't get it in blue -- but sometimes it's more practical.

Such as now, when there are two issues that are so close to being known that Apple might as well have announced them.

One is "Apple Tags," a Tile-like competitor for helping you find your misplaced devices, and since internal iOS code is replete with references to this, plus the new Motion coprocessor seems to aid that idea.

Then there's the business of the reverse or bilateral charging that failed to materialize in the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, but which is possibly present and disabled.

This is disputed, but teardowns of the new iPhones show at least an unidentified circuit board and some cabling.

A teardown of the new iPhones shows an unidentified circuit board. (Source: iFixit)
A teardown of the new iPhones shows an unidentified circuit board. (Source: iFixit)


If there is something lurking in the iPhones, you can imagine that it was disabled because it wasn't ready in time. In which case, you could equally imagine Apple switching it on in software.

However, this is all zooming off into the same kind of wishful speculation that AppleInsider abhors.

So let's round up the facts and call it on the likelihood that we will see certain products during October -- and whether there will be an event.

Running the odds

The Mac Pro being released in October is possible. There was a hiccup on Apple's website that appeared to prematurely leak the news that it was coming -- though it specified September.

Likelihood of October release: 30% odds

For all that we maybe shouldn't assume October is now iPad Pro month, there are definitely models coming and this is a good time of year to release them.

Likelihood of October release: 80% odds

MacBook Pro 16-inch is also certainly coming, and reports have said October. Given that and Apple's history of unveiling MacBook models in this month, the chances are high.

Likelihood of October release: 80%

Which leaves the smaller pickings, like Apple Tags, and new Apple TV hardware

Likelihood of October release: Apple Tags 30%, new Apple TV 10%

Whatever the odds of that or any of the expected devices, though, there is the fact that Apple has a lot it could bring out soon.

That includes things that might in other circumstances have been tentpole products, the one big thing that makes an event fly high. The Mac Pro would've been that, but we've already seen it. Apple TV+ surely could've been it, but we were shown that early in the year.

There is this whole slate of hardware and services releases that Apple could make. There is also that most of the biggest ones have already had their moment in the spotlight.

Event or no event

Generally speaking, Apple seems to like holding an event when it's got a device that has had some kind of change of form factor, such as last year's iPad Pro revision.

There have been times when that change is less about the casing, more about an element of it, such as when the iMac 5K came out in 2014. That had an identical case to the previous several models, but it was a very significant hardware update.

We are anticipating that for the MacBook Pro, but not for the iPad Pro or the Apple TV hardware.

If Apple does go for an event in October, the month does already have some competition. Microsoft is going to launch an updated Surface on 2 October, for instance, while Google is bringing out the Pixel 4 on 15 October.

Microsoft's event is on a Tuesday and Google's on a Wednesday. Apple has favored Tuesdays for its October events in 2011, 2012, 2013, and again last year. But for every other year that it's had an October event, it's been on a Thursday.

There are five Thursdays this October, and Apple only tends to announce events between a week and ten days ahead.

So we won't know for sure that there will be an event until Apple says so, and we can't be sure there isn't until several weeks into October.

However, while this is not backed up by inside or some supply chain-like source, we say the likelihood of Apple actually staging an October event is an even 50%. Really the major factor in favor an event is the sheer volume of items Apple has to release that we've seen signs of -- but then Apple always chooses very precisely which few items to showcase at once.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,030member
    No guarantee, but I'm hopefully and waiting to see what does or doesn't happen before jumping on a new iPad. I hope to be getting a 16" MBP this year.
    iqatedowatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    "Then there's the business of the reverse or bilateral charging that failed to materialize in the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, but which is possibly present and disabled."

    You've got to update your article.  This was thoroughly debunked by Apple a few days ago. Rene Ritchie spoke directly with Apple, and they laughed about it. They have no idea what Ifixit is seeing in the phone, but there is no hidden charger waiting to be turned on.
    edited September 2019 lkruppchaickaronnh2pwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,737member
    Look up the official date when the fall ends, and you'll be surprised to find that there are two different ones. Most of us, probably unknowingly, go by what's called the meteorological seasons, which means winter officially starts on December 1 when we put our heavy coats on.

    Huh?! Never heard this before.
    retrogustothtJapheygilly33macseekerkernelgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,254administrator
    Notsofast said:
    "Then there's the business of the reverse or bilateral charging that failed to materialize in the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, but which is possibly present and disabled."

    You've got to update your article.  This was thoroughly debunked by Apple a few days ago. Rene Ritchie spoke directly with Apple, and they laughed about it. They have no idea what Ifixit is seeing in the phone, but there is no hidden charger waiting to be turned on.
    Apple says a lot of things to Ritchie, us, and others that isn't true or is Apple's version of events. 

    We'll see how it goes -- which is why we used the word "possibly" in that sentence.
    80s_Apple_Guyrazorpitmuthuk_vanalingamlolliverh2pwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Based solely on history, what are the odds that there will be an Apple event in October?
  • Reply 6 of 31
    A few years ago, Apple had a spurious "education event" in NY. It was ostensibly about iBooks, but my recollection was it was sort of a strange event focused on educational marketing. 

    No sign of further deployment of the highly touted touchbar. I was sort of expecting some sort of touchbar keyboard for the iMac. Theres a lot of work to do on perhiperals, but certainly noting worht an event. "Look, we fixed the stupid placement of the charging port on the mouse, and now that Sir Jony is gone, we fixed that awful Apple TV remote." Not happening. 
    minicoffee
  • Reply 7 of 31
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Spec bump on Mac Mini's? One can only hope...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 31
    I think the sign post is clear! The future 15" models will have two USB-C ports and still be produced. The coming 16" models (hopefully really 16.5") will carry the four USB-C ports forward. Now the big question will we see other onboard ports as well as a USB-C MagSafe option built-in? People are still holding out for onboard ports as their workflow really needs them.

    Hopefully, we get more reliable keyboards and ones that are whisper quiet! None of these clickety-clackity! If I want an audio/touch feedback give me a synthetic sound as well as hepatic feedback!
  • Reply 9 of 31
    thttht Posts: 4,029member
    mike1 said:
    Look up the official date when the fall ends, and you'll be surprised to find that there are two different ones. Most of us, probably unknowingly, go by what's called the meteorological seasons, which means winter officially starts on December 1 when we put our heavy coats on.

    Huh?! Never heard this before.
    Me too. When I read that, I thought I was living in another reality or AI was living in another reality. Maybe it is a typo and they meant “unofficially“?

    Its utterly ridiculous and assumes everyone lives in the same place with the same weather. 
    kernelgronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    thttht Posts: 4,029member
    Things that can be updated or announced in the 8 weeks from late October to December:

    16” laptop
    Mac Pro date, new MPX modules, cards
    iPad Pro
    Mac mini (8 core, SSD, RAM options)
    Macbook Air (Icelake)
    Apple TV puck (A12 or A12X)
    Tracker tags
    iOS/iPadOS 13.2 features
    Service bundles

    Heck, a new iMac design could be in there too. Headphones have been rumored. A second gen HomePod or cheaper speaker is in the works. 

    There is enough for a 90 minute event. Wait and see.
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,449member
    Notsofast said:
    "Then there's the business of the reverse or bilateral charging that failed to materialize in the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, but which is possibly present and disabled."

    You've got to update your article.  This was thoroughly debunked by Apple a few days ago. Rene Ritchie spoke directly with Apple, and they laughed about it. They have no idea what Ifixit is seeing in the phone, but there is no hidden charger waiting to be turned on.
    Apple says a lot of things to Ritchie, us, and others that isn't true or is Apple's version of events. 

    We'll see how it goes -- which is why we used the word "possibly" in that sentence.
    Yes, but because iFixit says so it many take it as gospel.
    thtronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 353member
    BigDann said:
    I think the sign post is clear! The future 15" models will have two USB-C ports and still be produced. The coming 16" models (hopefully really 16.5") will carry the four USB-C ports forward. Now the big question will we see other onboard ports as well as a USB-C MagSafe option built-in? People are still holding out for onboard ports as their workflow really needs them.

    Hopefully, we get more reliable keyboards and ones that are whisper quiet! None of these clickety-clackity! If I want an audio/touch feedback give me a synthetic sound as well as hepatic feedback!
    Magsafe is dead. Time to move on.
    StrangeDaysfastasleepchaickaronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    robjnrobjn Posts: 263member
    I think there will be an October Event.

    1) Rumors indicate the New MacBookPro is a significant redesign - this will demand stage time.

    2) Apple gave developers powerful new tools at WWDC, these should lead to new apps that deserve stage time.

    3) The Tag is in testing and may be close to ready. This needs to be demoed - it must have stage time. It might do things (beyond tracking) that no one expects.

    4) iPad Pros are believed to get the same camera system as the iPhone Pros. The camera app on iPad has space to expose more controls. Apple could also demo Deep Fusion. Could demo new pro software such as Photoshop.

    5) A short segment could build anticipation for TV+ just days before launch. Could also be an announcement about home cinema sound with AirPlay 2 speakers.

    6) Other Macs could also get processor updates. Full prices for Mac Pro made available.
    edited September 2019 fastasleepronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,254administrator
    Based solely on history, what are the odds that there will be an Apple event in October?
    Paragraph three: "In the last eight years, it's had an October event six times."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,895member
    Weren't there rumours of AirPods 3 earlier in the year? For possible release for Christmas?


  • Reply 16 of 31
    tht said:
    mike1 said:
    Look up the official date when the fall ends, and you'll be surprised to find that there are two different ones. Most of us, probably unknowingly, go by what's called the meteorological seasons, which means winter officially starts on December 1 when we put our heavy coats on.

    Huh?! Never heard this before.
    Me too. When I read that, I thought I was living in another reality or AI was living in another reality. Maybe it is a typo and they meant “unofficially“?

    Its utterly ridiculous and assumes everyone lives in the same place with the same weather. 
    I’m glad I’m not the only one! I wondered for a second how i could live so long in a cold weather climate and not have any knowledge of that. 
    kernelgronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    I’m waiting to see if they will be a new Apple TV hardware before I go out and get the 4K version. Also if they will be a new iPad coming at us. 
    edited September 2019 lolliverchaickawatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    gilly33 said:
    I’m waiting to see if they will be a new Apple TV hardware before I go out and get the 4K version.
    I'm in the same boat. The release of Apple Arcade makes updating my 4th gen a no-brainer, but an A12X version would be awesome...if it happens. Worth waiting a bit to see.
    chaickawatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    I would like to buy a Mac Pro, we should be able to pre-order since they have already released the specs.

    My Mac Pro Cheesegrater is ready to retire.
    kernelgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    avon b7 said:
    Weren't there rumours of AirPods 3 earlier in the year? For possible release for Christmas?


    Yes. Actually two new versions were rumored. The AirPods 3, which are an upgrade to the current generation, and a second version with a completely new design. Both said to arrive 2019 Q4 - 2020 Q1. 

    “However, this is all zooming off into the same kind of wishful speculation that AppleInsider abhors.“

    Haha. If not for wishful speculation and rumors, Appleinsider likely wouldn’t exist. 
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