What to expect at an Apple October event

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16-inch MacBook Pro concept
A 16-inch MacBook Pro, which might look something like this, could be arrive soon.
Concept Art: Viktor Kádár

An Apple October event hasn’t yet been announced, but there’s such an impressive list of products that are supposedly ready to launch that the company seems to need a big venue to show them all off.

There’s an epic new Mac, a big MacBook, fresh iPads and plenty more, all reportedly coming soon.

Apple October event: What to expect

These new products didn’t come to light at Apple’s press event last month. The iPhone 11 series was the star of that show, with the first 10.2-inch iPad playing a supporting role. But there have been numerous leaks, rumors and even Apple announcements indicating Tim Cook and friends still have plenty up their sleeves.

Mac Pro 2019

There’s no doubt the Mac Pro line is about to get a long-awaited refresh because Apple announced the new model in June. The 2019 desktop is for professionals only, with an insane 28-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 1.5TB of RAM, and other super-high-end features. Pricing on the next Mac Pro starts at $5,999.

So far, its creator has only said that this uber-desktop will be available this fall. We know it’s just starting assembly in Texas, but a launch could certainly be part of an Apple October press event.

16-inch MacBook Pro

Much-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed multiple details about a 16-inch MacBook Pro, which he says will come out in the last quarter of 2019 … which starts today.

This laptop allegedly will be the same size as the current 15-inch model, just with smaller screen bezels. And it will be the first in too many years without the much-maligned “butterfly” keyboard mechanism. Just be prepared for a high price — perhaps as much as $3,000.

This would likely be the real star of an Apple October event, is there is one.

macOS Catalina

Apple unveiled macOS 10.15 Catalina in June at the same time as the 2019 Mac Pro. It is still in beta testing, though. (Update: The Golden Master just shipped!) Some evidence indicates this upgrade might land at the end of this week, but Apple could save it to debut alongside its new Mac desktop and laptop.

macOS Catalina will see iTunes split up into several applications: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. It also debuts Sidecar: the built-in ability to use an iPad as a second display.

More iPads

A database belonging to the Eurasian Economic Commission is a reliable source for product numbers of upcoming Apple gear. Over the summer, entries appeared there for seven “Tablet computers of the trademark ‘Apple.’”

The newly launched 10.2-inch iPad uses three of these: A2197, A2198 and A2200. However, that means that A2228, A2230, A2232 and A2068 are all for unannounced tablets.

These could be replacements for last year’s 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pros. Some rumors say these will come with a triple-lens camera like the iPhone 11 Pro.

Apple unveiled the 2018 iPad Pro series at an October event, and this year’s successors might get the same treatment.

Apple Tag

The iPhone 11 series includes a new U1 chip that adds Ultra Wideband technology. Apple promises that UWB allows the handsets “to precisely locate other U1-equipped Apple devices. Think GPS at the scale of your living room.”

Apple U1: An entirely new chip, just to improve AirDrop? No way
An entirely new chip, just to improve AirDrop? No way.
Photo: Apple

Code buried in iOS 13 indicates that UWB is primarily for Apple Tag — small gadgets you can attach to items to make them easily findable. Like Tile, except (possibly) better.

If Apple holds a press event this month, Apple Tag might show up.

Apple TV 2019

The Apple TV+ streaming video service will definitely launch Nov. 1, and it might come with a new set-top box. This would be first new Apple TV hardware in two years.

Not much is known about this rumored device, other than it supposedly will be powered by an Apple A12 chip like last year’s iPhone XS series. This would be a considerable jump in processing power over its predecessors. And it might give a big boost to Apple Arcade, the gaming service playable on Apple TVs and other devices.

Ordinarily, a new Apple TV device probably wouldn’t launch with much hoopla. But if Apple is already planning an October event…

Long shots

Everything listed so far is either definitely about to launch or there’s at least solid evidence that it will be out soon. But there are a few other things that fans are mostly just hoping for.

Second-generation AirPods launched in the spring, bringing only a minor improvement. Some reports indicate Apple is prepping more significant changes for its wireless earbuds, most notably noise cancellation. However, the next version isn’t expected until 2020, though it’s possible it could land earlier.

There’s a similar situation with HomePod. A more-affordable version of the $299 smart speaker is reportedly in the offing, but not until next year. Again, Apple could surprise us with an earlier-than-expected announcement.

A product that might, potentially, possibly be a “One more thing…” moment is Apple’s long-rumored AR glasses. These have supposedly been in development for years, and code in iOS 13 seems to indicate that Apple is close to a release. That said, these also aren’t supposed to launch until 2020. However, Apple could show them off now simply to start some early buzz.

Warning: Apple October event might be a non-event

While it seems there are plenty of products to warrant a full Apple October event, the company might feel differently. If so, Cupertino could announce any or all of these via a simple press release, not with Apple executives standing in front of a huge screen.

Apple unveiled the new iPad Air and iPad mini this way. The same is true for the seventh-generation iPod touch. Having the largest MacBook in years unveiled in a press release might seem anticlimactic, but it’s Apple’s decision to make.