Apple in 2014: 37 Days Later

The biggest product lineup in 25 years continues.


It’s been way too long.

On September 9, Tim Cook took stage at the Flint Center for Performing Arts for what has become one of the most important events in the companies history.

After years of speculation, rumors, and comments from executives such as Eddy Cue saying that this was the companies best product lineup in 25 years, Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch, the companies first new product category since the launch of the iPad in 2010.

Along with the Apple Watch, Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as Apple Pay.

But that was only half of what Apple has to show us.


On October 16, just 37 days after one of the companies most historic events, Tim Cook will take the stage once again, this time at the companies own Town Hall, and show us the other half of the companies biggest product lineup in 25 years.

The invite simply says “It’s been way too long”. Apple sometimes (although certainly not always) likes to give a hint of what to expect from the event in the invitation. While many are speculating that the phrase is referring to products that haven’t been updated in a while, I believe it is simply joking about the short time period between the two events.

What we will see, however, is a slew of updates to the Mac lineup, the launch of OS X Yosemite, an iPad or two, and maybe even an entirely new line of MacBook.

It’s time to fully see why this is truly the best lineup in 25 years.


Mac


OS X Yosemite


Apple will begin their Ocotber 16th event with a rundown of all of the features of OS X Yosemite, followed by an official release.

Yosemite, the 10th major release of OS X, includes an all new design akin to the one introduced to iOS in iOS 7.

More importantly, the new operating system will enable what is likely the biggest iOS 8 features, Continuity and Handoff. The new features brings a new sense of fluidity between the Mac and iOS lines. Continuity will allow you to make phone calls or send text messages, iMessage or not, from any of your devices using your iPhone as a base of sorts. Handoff will allow to work on one thing on one device and continue it on another. For example, you could be typing an email on your iPhone, and then mid sentence seamlessly continue on your Mac.

OS X Yosemite will likely the day of the event, and will be a free upgrade for all Mac users.

Mac mini


Apple will likely launch an updated Mac mini, a product that has not been updated since the Fall of 2012.

The update is said to be minimal, so expect spec upgrades across the board, as well as Intel Iris graphics, 802.11ac wireless networking, and Gigabit LAN.

iMac with Retina Display


Apple looks poised to launch a major update to the iMac line of desktop computers.

Apart from spec bumps across the line, Apple looks set to add an additional configuration to the iMac lineup with a 5k display at a resolution of 5120×2880.

This also happens to be double the current resolution of the 27-inch iMac, so everything should transition pretty nicely.

In addition, Apple will likely take this time to launch updated versions of both Final Cut Pro and iMovie with the ability to edit 4k video.

As mentioned above, it seems these new Retina models will exist alongside the current line of iMacs, similar to the MacBook Pros, and will be more expensive variants. As of now, it is unknown if just 27-inch Retina models will be available, or both 21.5 and 27-inch.

It is also possible, although not very likely at the moment, that Apple could take the time to update it’s Thunderbolt Display with new, 4k models, something professionals have been looking for since the launch of the new Mac Pro in 2013.

The New MacBook


Since the first entry in the Apple in 2014 series, i’ve been making cryptic statements regarding a brand new line of MacBook that Apple is preparing to launch.

The new lineup will feature radical design changes, as well as a retina display.

While reports had originally slated the new device to launch this Fall, it seems the device is going to wait until early next year. As such, you’re going to have to wait until Apple in 2015 for more details.

(Note: I am not completely ready to rule this out as an option for this event, and as I was writing this I had a hard time deciding wether or not to include it in this entry. My reasoning being that while the device is assuredly not launching until next year, Apple could easily pull a ‘Mac Pro’ on us and give us an early preview.

I have a sneaking suspicion i’m onto something… hopefully not.)


In addition to the devices above, it is entirely possible that Apple could make minimal updates across more or all of the Mac lineup, including the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Retina MacBook Pro.


iPad


iPad Air


At it’s October 16th event, Apple will unveil the 2nd generation (or 6th depending on how they end up looking at it) iPad Air.

The new Air will have an even thinner design, coming in at just 7mm, smack in the middle of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which come in at 6.9mm and 7.1mm respectivly. The new model will also include an upgraded camera.

The most notable addition to the new iPad will be the addition of Touch ID, the fingerprint sensor introduced with the iPhone 5s.

Other cosmetic changes include that, according to leaks of the device, Apple has dropped the mute switch, although it is possible that the leaks were not final models.

Internally, the new iPad has an upgraded A8X processor, 2GB of RAM, and the M8 motion co-processor.

The new iPad’s will likely launch within a week of the event, and will adapt the new storage tiers of the iPhones, which means it will come in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models.

Oh, and it comes in gold now…

iPad mini with Retina Display


History tells us that Apple will likely unveil an update to the iPad with Retina Display, with similar specs to the larger iPad Air.

Interestingly enough though, there have been little to none leaks of an updated iPad mini.

While it seems unfathomable that Apple would not update the device at the event, I have a theory.

Since the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus people have been making statements to the tone of they can’t see ever using an iPad mini anymore, and that they can no longer think of a use case for the device. Is it at all possible, especially considering the upcoming shift in ‘Pro’ focus to the iPad line (more on that in a second), that Apple is ready to kill off the iPad mini? Just a theory.

What is more plausible is that if not at this event, Apple would probably update the iPad mini with the launch of an iPad Pro, hopefully in gold as well, at a later event.

iPad Pro


I don’t know why, I don’t know what for, I don’t know how come, but it seems like the iPad Pro is a thing.

I’m not going to go into much detail on my thoughts about the device quite yet because it won’t be launched at this event, I’m only mentioning it because it’s rumored as a thing for this event, but I certainly think that the winter Apple event will make a triumphant comeback in early 2015.

iOS 8.1


Apple will launch a semi-large update to it’s mobile operating system, iOS 8, at this event for both iPhone and iPad.

The update will finally bring Apple Pay to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (and maybe iPads) as well as enable Continuity and Handoff on iOS devices.

In addition to already announced features, Apple has been internally working on a slew on new features specifically for the iPad that would make the devices more productive including split-screen multitasking and the ability to use your iPad as a second monitor.

It is uncertain if these new iPad productivity features will be introduced with iOS 8.1, or a later update alongside the launch of the iPad Pro in 2015.

The October event looks to be an exciting one for Apple, and seems to be a precursor to a number of large announcements set for 2015.

Apple’s October 16th event will take place at 10:00 AM PST and 1PS EST at the Apple Town Hall in Cupertino, CA, and will be livestreamed at on their website.

Follow me on twitter @bzgoldman.

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