The invites Apple sent out to members of the press included different Apple logos, each one full of color and unique designs. Between the location of the event and the subtle hints that Apple is known for leaving in its invites, it's safe to say this event is going to be focused on creating.
Creating on Apple products, of course. Specifically, it's expected Apple will announce new iPad Pro models and refresh its Mac lineup. My colleague Jason Perlow has his predictions for what Apple will announce on Oct. 30, but let's take a look at some of the rumors.
- Goodbye, bezels and the home button
- Hello, Face ID
- USB-C replaces the Lightning connector
The current iPad Pro lineup features two different models, separated only by display size. According to 9to5Mac, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities, who has accurately predicted Apple releases in the past, expects the new iPad Pro models will have an 11-inch or a 12.9-inch display. That's a change from the current lineup of 10.5 and 12.9 inches.
The screen size change, however, doesn't come at the cost of a larger device overall. According to Kuo, the new iPad Pro models will have slim bezels, with displays that stretch nearly edge to edge, similar to new iPhone models like the iPhone XS.
With smaller bezels, Apple is ditching its iconic home button with Touch ID, and replacing the technology with its facial recognition platform, Face ID. The bezels around the display are expected to remain big enough to hide the Face ID sensors, meaning there won't be a notch on the iPad Pro display.
An icon found by 9to5Mac in a previous iOS 12 beta reveals the difference between the current iPad Pro design, and what the new iPad Pro's will look like -- even if it's just an icon.
It's unclear if Face ID will only work in portrait or landscape mode, or if Apple has figured out a way for it to identify faces in either orientation. Currently, iPhone models with Face ID only work with the phone in portrait orientation.
Another big change coming to the iPad Pro lineup, according to Kuo, is the removal of Apple's Lightning connector. Instead of using its proprietary technology for syncing or using an external monitor with the iPad, Apple will reportedly use USB-C.
The USB-C port would allow for faster charging and output of up to 4K when the iPad is connected to another monitor.
Put this one in the unlikely column. Just this week, Kuo published an analyst note wherein the iPad Mini line is still alive. Kuo believes Apple is working on an update to the iPad Mini 4 but doesn't know if the company plans to release the iPad Mini 5 with an improved display and internals in late 2018 or early 2019.
- Mac Mini
- CPU upgrades across the board
In August, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on a successor to the MacBook Air. The laptop line is severely overdue for a refresh. According to the report, Apple will add a Retina display to the new MacBook. A Retina display is what Apple uses in nearly all of its products, save for the MacBook Air.
Apple is also expected to announce a Mac Mini that's built with pro users in mind. The new Mac Mini will likely receive updates to its processor, storage, ports, and maybe even the housing. Remember, the Mac Mini in its current form looks more like an Apple TV.
- New Apple Pencil
- AirPower may still be alive
Alongside the new iPad Pro, it's possible Apple will announce a handful of new accessories. A new Apple Pencil, with new pairing features and ease of switching between devices, makes sense for Apple to reveal with the new tablets.
Apple's wireless earbuds, AirPods, have been included in rumors, with the anticipation of an updated feature set that includes Siri integration and a wireless charging case.
Also: The iPad Pro 2018 models: 8 things the pros need TechRepublic
According to Kuo, Apple is still working on its wireless charging pad, Air Power, that's capable of charging up to three different devices at the same time. AirPower, which has seen numerous delays (as recently as last month), was removed almost entirely from Apple's website. It could see some stage time at the event, and possibly still meet Apple's promised delivery of 2018.
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