Apple Event Predictions

Apple is holding their “There’s More in the Making” event this Tuesday. As with most every other Apple event, I will make my predictions for what we will see. Here is what I think Apple will announce.

iPads

This October event will be Apple’s fourth event this year. At their March Education-based event in Chicago they announced the new 9.7-inch iPad. The 2017 iPad Pros were announced at Apple’s Wide Developer Conference, or WWDC. WWDC 2018 passed without an iPad announcement as did the September iPhone event. Logically this means that the iPad Pros will be announced at this event, if there are to be new models this year at all. It is not likely that Apple would skip another 18 months, not given that Apple has positioned the iPad Pros to be pro machines and is the future computing device for most users.

Here is what I wrote for the September event:

My guess is that the iPad Pros are the only ones that will be updated, since the 9.7-inch iPad was updated in March. The new iPad Pros will have reduced bezel, with no Touch ID but instead will have Face ID. I think the screen sizes will remain the same, at 10.5 inches and 12.9-inches. The reduced bezels means the the physical size of the iPad devices will be smaller, which will allow easier handling.

It is also possible that the new iPads will remain the same physical size, but the screens will be a bit larger. If this is the case, the current 12.9-inch iPad would end up being approximately 14.5 inches. It would be great to actually have an even larger iPad, but within the same physical form factor.

I think the new iPad Pros will not have a lightning connection, as all iOS devices have had since the release of the iPhone 5. Instead, it is likely to have a USB-C connection. This will provide couple of different functions. The first being The first is the ability to output the screen at a higher resolution than the native. Secondly, it could provide easier connectivity with being able to connect a USB-C enabled Mac to an iPad with a USB-C to USB-C cable, instead of USB-C to lightning.

I still stand by this prediction. However, instead of the 60% I gave it last month, I give it 100% chance of new iPads. I give the likelihood of them having Face ID at 100%, reduced bezels at 95%. I still give the likelihood of retaining same physical size, as well as retaining the same screen size each a 50% chance.

Updated Macs

Apple, generally, updates Macs on a somewhat regular basis. There are times when this is not possible due to delays from Intel or other suppliers.

Mac mini

There is one Mac that has not been updated in 1474 days and that would be the Mac mini. To give some perspective that’s over 4 years ago. At the time of its the Mac mini came with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. There has been some speculation that Apple will re-position the Mac mini as a more professional computer.

The Mac mini was originally positioned as the entry level Mac and that was back in 2005 the the original Mac mini was released. In that intervening 13 years, most Mac users prefer laptops over desktops and as such it would make sense.

My guess is that the new Mac mini will only have SSD options and will not have an option for traditional hard drives. This may increase the price, but

I predict that the Mac mini will be updated with 95% certainty. I give the likelihood of a Pro model of the Mac mini at 50%. If Apple does not update the Mac mini in this event then it can be presumed that the Mac mini is officially dead and will never be updated again.

iMac

Apple has two different models of iMac, the iMac and the iMac Pro. The regular iMac has two screen sizes, 21.5-inch and 27-inch screen. The last time the regular iMac was updated was in June of 2017.

I predict the regular iMac will get an update, but it might be a slight update, including processor upgrades. If Apple has redesigned the internals of the iMac, then there will likely be no spinning hard drive option.

Similarly for the iMac Pro. It already does not have a traditional hard drive option, so that is not an issue. I do not think we will see an iMac Pro, only because the processors used within the iMac Pro are not updated as often as other processors. Therefore, I think we will see a new iMac Pro next year, probably around the time as the new Mac Pro is unveiled.

MacBook and MacBook Air

Apple’s line of laptops is in need of updating. In particular, the MacBook and the 13-inch non-TouchBar MacBook Pro. The Touch Bar models of the MacBook Pros were updated in July and will not see updates, but the other models are in need of a refresh. I think we will see an updated 12-inch MacBook, with a lower price point, at $999. I think this because the MacBook Air is still at the $999 price point, and it is non-retina. Either the MacBook Air needs to be updated to be retina or the MacBook needs to have the price dropped to $999.

It is possible that the MacBook may retain the current price point and the 13-inch MacBook Pro will get the reduced price down to $999, but in all reality it is likely the MacBook that will see the price reduction. I give the likelihood of the Macbook being updated with a reduced price at 75%, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro seeing a price reduction to $999 at 25%.

Accessories

One of the areas where Apple makes some additional revenue is through the sale of accessories. One of the accessories that is specifically for the iPad Pro is the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil was introduced in 2015indicated that the with the release of the 1st generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

There have been some complaints about the fact that the Apple Pencil does not stay in once place without rolling away. Additionally, artists who have indicated that extended use of the Apple Pencil is not best for long term usage.

It would be nice to have a revamped Apple Pencil, possibly one that is a bit shorter, but also a thicker that fits better in the hand. If the Logitech Crayon that was released in March is any indication, it could be that a revised Apple Pencil will be the same general form factor, just a bit more elegant.

I give the probability of a new Apple Pencil at 50%. Particularly if the new iPad Pros do do not have a lightning port and only have USB-C.

Recap

I think the event will be focused on new iPad Pros as well as new Macs, including the Mac mini and iMac. Overall at least one of my predictions will be wrong. This is because you cannot have reduced bezels, keep the same physical size, and keep the same screen size.

Prediction Likelihood
New iPad Pros 100%
New iPad Pros having Face ID 100%
New Mac Mini 95%
New iPad Pros reduced bezels 95%
12-inch MacBook Price reduction 75%
New Apple Pencil 50%
New Mac Mini Pro 50%
New iPad Pros retaining screen size 50%
iPad Pros having same physical size 50%
13-inch MacBook Pro price reduction 25%

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