NEW YORK CITY – Now that all the new Apple iPhones have been released, the Cupertino tech giant has turned its attention to its other products.
On Oct 18, Apple sent out invites to media with a simple message “There’s more in the making” for an event to be held at Howard Gilman Opera House in New York City on Oct 30, 10am (Oct 30, 10pm Singapore time).
So what will Apple be unveiling at this event? We scoured the rumour mills and gazed into our crystal ball on what to expect from the event in the Big Apple.
With the iPhone handsets out of the way, we expect this event to be mostly about iPads. To be more precise, it is probably going to be a new design of the iPad Pro tablet.
The new iPad Pros are expected to feature the same Face ID technology found in the flagship iPhone XS. With the iPad having more screen real estate, removing the iconic home button will allow the new iPad Pro to feature an all-screen front with very thin bezels.
According to multiple leaks, the magnetic Smart Connector on the new iPad Pro models is believed to be re-located to the bottom, near the Lightning port, unlike on the side in current models. This further fuels rumours of the inclusion of Face ID technology, as it currently works only in portrait mode for the iPhone X series.
But will we have the notch (which houses the TrueDepth camera for Face ID) too on the iPad Pro?
Other rumours about the new iPad Pro include the possible omission of the headphone jack, inclusion of a variant of the A12 chip found in the new iPhone XS and an iPhone SE-like chamfered edge design. But it is believed that screen sizes will remain at 10.5 inches and 12.9 inches.
In addition, there are suggestions that there may be a new iPad mini coming up. The iPad mini has not been updated since 2015. According to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new iPad mini will get updated with a faster processor and a lower-cost display.
APPLE PENCIL 2
With new iPad Pros, the successor to the Apple Pencil stylus might be a possibility.
Details are pretty scarce on this. But we might see a new design or maybe just an update with a better pairing experience that does not need the stylus to be plugged into the Lightning port of the iPad Pro.
iMACS & MAC MINI
The iMac is expected to undergo its annual refresh during this event. Its design is probably going to remain the same, but with updated hardware. It might include the eighth-generation Intel Core processors, improved graphics processing units and other improvements.
But unlike the iMac, the Mac mini has not been updated since Oct 2014 – an eternity in tech terms. However, Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini or something comparable.
News outlet Bloomberg claims, according to its sources, that the new Mac mini will be focused on professional users like app developers or those running home media centres. But it will also mean the new Mac mini is expected to cost more than the current version. Whether it will retain the Mac mini name remains to be seen.
MACBOOK & MACBOOK AIR
The 12-inch MacBook will probably get another refresh with the latest Intel Core processors for better performance and battery life.
The more interesting news is the rumoured update of the 13-inch MacBook Air. Once the thinnest laptop ever made, the MacBook Air has become the entry-level Mac laptop. It does not even have a full high-definition display and instead comes with a screen resolution of only 1,440 x 900 pixels.
This might change, although the rumours have been mixed. There are suggestions that the new model will be a MacBook Air with a high-resolution display that replaces the current MacBook. But there are also rumblings that the 13-inch MacBook Air will become part of the MacBook line-up. Hopefully, the event will shed some light on this.
AIRPODS 2 & AIRPOWER?
With the new iPad Pro rumoured to lose its headphone jack, Apple’s truly wireless headphones AirPods – released in late 2016 – might finally be getting an upgrade.
The new AirPods is expected to feature a faster chip that allows it to detect voice commands better than the current version. In addition, it is expected to come with a wireless charging case.
And this leads to another question – where is the AirPower? Unveiled at last September’s event, AirPower is Apple’s wireless charging pad that can charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously. It has yet to be released. In fact, Apple has even removed any mentions of it from its website.
Will we finally get to see a release date for the AirPower? We will find out soon.
The Straits Times will be at the Howard Gilman Opera House to bring you the latest on Apple’s offerings. Readers can also watch the live stream of the event at www.apple.com/apple-events/.
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