It is reasonable to bet that there will be a new Apple Special Event in October. You can not be sure, but it is reasonable. What is not reasonable is how many people assume that it is in it.
If you're waiting for a radically redesigned iMac, an incredibly powerful Mac mini, low-cost MacBooks and an early release for the 2019 Mac Pro, then you've forgotten all the iPads that we should get.
And the new AirPods. Plus a cheaper HomePod.
Apple is a big company, but it can not change so many things at once, and it's also a very smart business, so it just does not work. You've seen how the Series 4 Apple demonstrably drew the attention of the new iPhones this month.
Apple will never do that deliberately.
Moreover, there is the entire logistic issue. The iPhone controls a huge part of the fast shipping from China. Most of the first two weeks of orders even come directly from the factory.
It is not reasonable that Apple launched everything in September. And why to order the technical press cycle for one month, when you can do it for two?
Instead, this is when and how and probably what we can expect from Apple in October.
When and how
We say it is reasonable to expect Apple to hold an October event because there is evidence in the supply chain that new iPads and Macs are on their way. That does not mean that they will certainly come in October, and it is by no means certain that there will be a special event.
Whatever Apple brings, it can release them without a presentation or a special event. One morning a press release might appear, as the company did with the MacBook Pro, and some happy faces in an Apple Store that afternoon.
This time it seems likely an event given the volume of what we hear. But we are careful because Apple has held events for six years in September, but it has just over half of most October events. For example, there was no last year, nor in 2015.
Apple has had events in October since October, and from the dates of that we would expect a 2018 in the fourth week of the month. Apart from the very early event of October 4 in 2011, none of the rest was earlier than five weeks and two days after their corresponding launches in September. The longest is seven weeks and one day: that was the last such event in October 2016.
That event in 2011 throws out statistics: the most important launch was the iPhone 4s with Siri. However, if we only continue from 2012 onwards, we see clearer trends.
Especially on those four October events – 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 – there were three MacBook Pro innovations. There were two iMacs. Then three iPads plus three iPad minis.
Forget what we think is coming and forget what we want: think instead of what market Apple will aim for in October. It is a bit late for the academic world, but not too much. And it is a bull's eye for Christmas buyers.
Reved, revised iPads with thinner edges and FaceID are the things that sell this Christmas in the highest numbers.
Mind you, Apple has a bad record for actually delivering on Christmas demand. The AirPods, the HomePod and the AirPower were all ready in time for a Christmas storm and could not appear on time.
Apple has just banned us with regard to an iPhone of $ 749 as the cheapest: this company is not cheap. What it can do, however, is slightly less expensive.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who had the iPhone details of September, is of the opinion that there will be a revessed MacBook Air line.
What is not clear at all is what the rev could be. Except that the MacBook Air is currently the cheapest Mac notebook and that its replacement is expected to remain at that price or lower.
AirPower can still appear – nothing is impossible – but it seems unlikely. That is one that we expect to see launched with a silent, even apologetic, press release and certainly no "One More Thing" fanfare. Or Apple will send about six on December 31, just like the 6.1 Mac Pro and said victory.
Similarly, there is another product that Apple has promised and that we have not seen yet – a revolution in charging AirPod. The only new feature that Apple has told us about is the ability to charge wirelessly on the AirPower path. No AirPower, no AirPod charging case. If we do not get that new chase, then it might be reasonable to expect that we will not see revived AirPods at all.
This is certainly the Apple product with the most Christmas functionality. The company had two years to get its AirPod production up and running, so maybe this is his time.
In addition, there have been reports of increased sound quality or health characteristics such as a heart rate monitor.
Maybe those reports were really misdirected and referred to the new health options from Apple, but Apple now has absolutely something for remarkable health features. And things that you stick in your ear seem ripe for exploiting biometric information for us.
And, after missing the holiday period of 2017, this is the first Christmas of the HomePod. It does not seem likely that a new model will be released before that time, rumors or no.
iMac 4K and iMac 5K
Again, this is about what is likely and unlikely during a possible Special Event in October. It's not about what will ever come from Apple. We have not heard much about a new iMac, but Kuo believes the iMac is about to get a "significant display performance upgrade."
According to some, the iMac will lose its distinctive chin and go from edge to edge. That would be great, thank you, but it would also make the normal iMac considerably better than the iMac Pro in that way.
It seems unlikely that Apple would undermine the iMac Pro design at the same time as it uses it to close a gap before the Mac Pro is launched next year.
So we expect that the update of the iMac display performance will be that the screen will be upgraded to a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
That would certainly be welcome, but even Apple would struggle to align that in a Keynote presentation. However likely it is, it is something that is likely to be treated as a spec bump and thus only receives a launch of the press release.
The Mac mini is a small machine with a big hi and is certainly one of the most important Apple products ever made, but try to tell that to the iPad buyers.
These special events are meant as showcases of what Apple wants to sell the most. We're going to have an event in October, but it's about the iPad and maybe nothing else.
You really know this. Each Apple event now goes through the same cycle. Whether it is a March education, a WWDC, a September or now the October events, everyone predicts so much except what you can be sure of.
That is that in the run-up to the event rumors are about that every possible Apple product will appear in the sun. Part of it will be underpinned by AppleInsider-style reporting on supply chain evidence, but most will be wishful thinking.
There is nothing wrong with that. Except that it inevitably means – inevitably – the Apple event is a disappointment. This is also the peak time for Apple-decimated reports, because what it has released has been wasted by some parties and others are complaining because it does not release what it never said.
Remarkably fast, however, this is all no, it is in fact the next event of Apple that every possible product in the sun will have.
None of us received the new devices we ordered after the September Special Event. Let's enjoy it when we have them. And let's look at what we need now, what Apple is making now.
Although we may not yet buy an iMac for about seven weeks and one day.
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