Last week Apple sent out invitations for a launch event on 22 October, promising that the company still has “a lot to cover” after the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. But what specifically should you expect from the announcement?
The fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini are expected to make its debut on Tuesday, touting a thinner, lighter form factor. It will be the first time ever the Apple tablets have undergone a hardware design.
The full-size iPad leaks suggest Apple’s adopting a nearly identical look to the iPad Mini, with slimmer sides and tighter angling on the back. It might have 9.7-inch Retina display, as well as the new A7 64-bit processor.
As is Apple’s custom, expect the iPad version of that chip to be called the A7X, which gets tweaks to support the much larger display on the iPad. Then new iDevice most likely to feature Touch ID (Apple’s fingerprint sensor that enables iTunes and screen-lock authorization) embedded into the home button.
The iPad 5 will see a few camera upgrades, including an 8-megapixel sensor, up from 5MP in the latest models. Similar to the iPhone 5S, the aperture is expected to get better, too, which would enhance detail and produce less grainy photos.
Leaks of the iPad Mini have suggested Apple plans to offer the tablet in its newer “space gray” color, as well as include a Retina Display, which was missing from last year’s model. The smaller Mini doesn’t necessarily require the computing horsepower that the standard iPad does, so it may not make the leap to the expected A7X chip like the iPad. Instead, the Mini may make do with the A6 chip that’s in the iPhone 5C, says Bloomberg Businessweek.
Alongside those models, new Apple Smart Covers are expected, and are believed to be the ones that leaked out last month. A range of keyboard Smart Covers would be a straightforward win for Apple, since many of its customers use such covers for their devices already. Without a kickstand it might prove more of a challenge to design something simple, sleek and useful, but we have a feeling Apple will find a way to pull it off, says the Huff Post.
Besides the iPads, Apple is also expected (or rumored) to reveal a host of other features and products on Tuesday — new MacBook Pros, Mac Pro, new versions of iLife and iWork and the Mac mini are all good bets.
There was a lot of speculation about the upgrade of the Apple TV set-top box. It’s hard to predict how Apple could do anything totally game-changing without a major rethink of its TV strategy, and that will likely come next year.
Apple’s iPad event will once again take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, which is a much bigger venue than where the company held the recent iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch (at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters). This could leave room for more theatrics or partners to join the presentation.