It's getting colder in parts of the United States, which means pumpkin spice coffee, Saturday and Sunday football, and ... more new Apple goodies are about to arrive. Since 2010, Apple has held an October "special event" eight times, and we expect more of the same this year.
Cupertino has to hold an event next month; otherwise, it wouldn't be able to officially welcome two of the most significant new products announced in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura.
Besides the new software, new hardware could be arriving. At last year's "Unleashed" event on October 18, for example, the company introduced new color options for the HomePod mini, AirPods (3rd generation), and the 14-inch and (next-generation) MacBook Pro.
Here's what Apple should announce in just a few weeks.
Apple's October event: iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura
iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura: These software updates are guaranteed to appear next month after nearly five months of intensive beta testing. Both feature Stage Manage and other new and upgraded features.
We've written a lot about both software updates in recent weeks. The biggest unknown is whether additional features will be announced that work exclusively on new iPads and Macs, respectively (see below).
- Likelihood of being announced: Zero doubt.
Apple's October event: iPad
iPad Pro: There will probably be a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro announced next month. Both will feature the M2 chip that first arrived on this year's MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. In addition, it will be interesting to see if these tablets offer Dynamic Island, which just arrived on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
- Likelihood: Almost certain. The long-rumored 14-inch iPad Pro is less likely to be making an appearance, however. Instead, that product could be one of the first announced in 2023.
iPad (2022): The flagship iPad always tends to get an update in the fall, which should be the case again. Rumors suggest this entry-level iPad will offer a new design and perhaps even Face ID.
- Likelihood: Close to 100%.
iPad mini (2022): Like the Apple TV, Apple rarely shows the iPad mini love. Last year's update was the first in two years, and the company could follow a similar pattern in releasing a next-generation model, meaning you might have to wait until 2023. Still, with the iPad Air updated earlier this year, the time might be good this year for an update here as well.
- Likelihood: 50/50.
Apple's October event: Mac
MacBook Pro: The current 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros feature an M1 Pro or M1 Max chip, fresh designs with advanced displays, and more. The new laptops will probably be identical to last year's models but include M2 Pro or M2 Max chips inside.
- Likelihood: Easy money.
Mac mini M2: Here's another Mac that's likely to get a modest update as it goes from an M1 series chip to an M2. Doing so will almost certainly mean the end of the Intel-based model.
- Likelihood: 80%.
Mac Pro: Along with the Mac mini, this is the only remaining Mac with Intel inside. That should end very soon as Apple announces a next-generation model. Expected to feature oh-so-powerful versions of the M2, the Mac Pro should take computing to the extreme and have a price tag to match its power.
- Likelihood: An announcement is very likely for next month. Whether the new machine is released before the end of the year remains to be seen.
iMac: Things are a little bit strange on the iMac front. First, it makes sense for Apple to announce a next-generation 24-inch iMac. Like the MacBook Air before, this Mac needs to get a chip update (to the M2), although there's no need for a design change as the current version only arrived in April 2021. And yet, we've heard very little about an update as an expected October event gets closer.
Second, there's the possibility of an all-new iMac Pro, a product that Apple discontinued in 2021 after failing to update it for five years. Rumors abound suggested there would be a new iMac Pro announced this year. However, this year's arrival of the Mac Studio largely squashed those rumors, although not entirely.
- Likelihood: New 24-inch iMac, 75%; new iMac Pro, 10%.
Apple's October event: AR/IR headset
AR/IR Headset: The Apple rumor mill often suggested that 2022 was the year the company's long-expected AR/IR headset would debut. In recent months, however, things have gotten quieter on that front.
Like the original Apple Watch in 2015, Apple could elect to announce its new headset this fall but not release it until the spring. In between, iMore and other sites would provide anticipation stories as a build-up to launch day.
- Likelihood: 60% announced, 10% it gets released in 2022.
Apple's October event: Other products
New Apple TV: You never know what Cupertino has planned for its entertainment box — if anything. The Apple TV HD has been around for what seems like forever, while the 4K model, now in its 2nd generation, has seen little attention in terms of progress since it was first launched in 2017. So it is time for Apple to introduce a new Apple TV model (new chip and features) and retire the HD model.
- Likelihood: Only 50/50, sorry.
HomePod second generation: Leave it to Apple to introduce a smart speaker only to kill it after three years on the market. That first HomePod (2018-21) was a beautiful device, perhaps a little too bulky for most folks. Hence, one of the reasons Apple launched the smaller and more stylish HomePod mini in 2020.
Rumors suggest Apple plans on bringing another premium HomePod to the market. However, like the 14-inch iPad Pro, this product could just as easily not launch until next year.
- Likelihood: It's higher than a new Apple TV, but that's not saying all that much. If pushed, I'd say we won't see one in October.
AirPods 4: The second-generation AirPods Pro is only now arriving in stores, suggesting that now is not the time Apple plans to release a pair of next-generation AirPods.
- Likelihood: Slim.
AirPods Max: The calendar suggests these premium headphones should see an update before the end of the year. After all, the current pair is nearing the two-year mark. And yet, there has been no chatter about a new model coming this year. So once again, it's probably best to peg 2023 as the year something fresh gets announced.
- Likelihood: Not this year. What we could see announced in October are new AirPod Max colors.
When is Apple's October event?
The 2021 October event was held on October 18. However, because that event was recorded and no one from the press was invited to attend any sort of hands-on session due to COVID, Apple didn't even announce this event until six days prior.
For WWDC and last month's iPhone 14 event, Apple invited special guests to its Cupertino campus. Assuming the same thing happens in October, look for Apple to make an event announcement in early October, with the actual event happening sometime between October 10-20. Until then, stay tuned.
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.
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