Yes, Apple hosted a big event in September to unveil the iPhone 13, but don’t get too comfortable just yet. Another Apple streaming event is quickly approaching.
On Monday, Oct. 18, Tim Cook and company will unveil a new wave of product announcements at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. This one will most likely be leaner and less explosive than the typical iPhone launch stream, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be anything to look out for. When Apple does two fall events, the second is usually centered on the Mac, and that’s what we’re expecting this time.
Without further ado, here’s what we believe Apple will unveil on Monday.
New MacBook Pros
On Monday, Apple is almost certainly going to unveil new MacBook Pro notebooks. This is, in fact, what most people perceive the event to be about. For several weeks, rumors have pointed to a new MacBook Pro introduction in October, and we’d be surprised if that’s not what happens during the event.
MacRumors offers a handy overview of what to expect from the new laptops based on multiple reports. The general consensus is that there will be two models: a 14-inch and a 16-inch model, both of which will provide similar performance in different sizes. The main internal improvement is supposed to be the addition of a new, more powerful “M1X” chip, which improves on the M1 chip that powered the MacBook Pro last year. It’s unclear what precise performance improvements M1X will provide, but in general, expect a quicker and more powerful machine this time around.
1080p webcams, three Thunderbolt connections for connecting to external displays and other equipment, and the removal of the touch bar atop the keyboard are all possible modifications.
Apple’s new Mac Mini
The inclusion of a new Mac Mini announcement is less clear, but still very likely. If you’ve heard this before, please stop us: The M1 chip was used in last year’s model, however the reported future model will use the M1X chip instead.
Aside from any performance improvements brought on by M1X, the new Mac Mini could benefit from advancements from the 2020 release in a few areas. With only two USB-C connectors, the M1 model’s USB-C situation was grim. According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, the M1X model will include four connectors, including two USB type-A connections, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port. According to Bloomberg, high-end models could include up to 64GB of RAM, compared to the M1 model’s 16GB limit.
There’s enough evidence and reporting to suggest that the new Mac Mini will arrive on Monday.
Monterey is the latest version of macOS
Last but not least, some kind of update (most likely a launch date) for macOS 12 Monterey is something that would be odd not to see. The sequel to Big Sur was announced at WWDC earlier this year, but no official release date has been set. However, we know it’ll happen this year, and there isn’t much time left… and Monday’s event is anticipated to be Mac-centric, so you do the math.
In terms of what Monterey offers to the table, it doesn’t appear like it will make quite as many significant changes as Big Sur. There are some pretty cool-sounding new features, such as “Universal Control,” which allows users to link multiple Apple devices, like as an iMac and an iPad, wirelessly to move the mouse cursor back and forth, drag and drop files across devices, and so on.
Aside from that, Monterey includes a new version of Safari that has features similar to those found in other browsers, such as tab groups and a new shortcuts feature that allows users to group various programs into one-click macros to quickly access a work arrangement. Although this is more of an incremental macOS upgrade, those features sound very useful. Monterey may be accompanied by new MacBook Pros and a Mac Mini.
Unlikely but worth mentioning: New AirPods
It’s impossible to expect anything other than Mac or Mac-adjacent announcements on Monday, given that this is a Mac-focused event. However, we must acknowledge that we’ve been hearing rumors of new, redesigned AirPods for about a year and a half, rumors that did not materialize at the September iPhone launch, as most of us expected.
The new entry-level AirPods are supposed to resemble AirPods Pro, with silicone ear tips that should block out more ambient noise than the current model’s open, plastic design. Unfortunately, Apple does not appear to be planning to include active noise cancellation in the new AirPods, leaving that feature to the Pro. Bummer!
It’s worth repeating that new AirPods are unlikely to be announced at Apple’s Oct. 18 event, but they’re so long overdue for a revelation that you should keep them in mind until Apple finally does. In terms of what we may expect, this is most likely going to be a Mac-centric event. Sorry, but you won’t be able to attend two new iPhone events in the same season, as wonderful as that may be.