Yep, there's a second Apple event this fall, and it's later than it's been in a decade

Tim Cook will be giving an ethics speech in Europe right around the time we thought there would be a new product event. So what's really going to happen? We have no idea, but we can guess real good.

Update: And they did. Six hours after I said "that invite should have arrived by now." it did. Apple is holding an event and it's on October 30. Jason Cipriani has the full story.

The appellation "futurist" used to mean you spend your time looking into the future and predicting societal and technological trends. These days, though, sometimes being a futurist merely means looking a few weeks into the future and guessing if Apple's going to update its very out-of-date computers.

Here's where we stand, if you haven't been obsessively following Apple news (or lack thereof). Apple announced its yearly suite of phones, but was noticeably silent on rumored new iMacs, Mac minis, a new X-ish iPad Pro, and even new Ear Pods.

Also: Introducing the Mac mini Pro

Based on Apple's previous announcement history, I predicted a second fall Apple event would take place next week. While in the past Apple has had a second fall event as early as October 14, it's occurred in the third week of the month more times than anything else.

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Fall Apple event history

When Apple does one of these events, it usually sends out an announcement about eight days beforehand. To fit with our prognosticated schedule, that invite should have arrived by now.

It's always possible that Apple won't announce anything else this fall. But the leaks have been flowing, and the rumor mills have been churning at full blast, so there's probably something coming.

Next week, though, is looking increasingly improbable. Here are the two deal-killers. First, Tim Cook is going to be out of town. Last week, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the EU's independent data protection authority, announced that Cook will be delivering the keynote speech next Wednesday at an ethics conference.

Also: Apple's first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez TechRepublic

We figured next Wednesday was the most likely day for a new Apple event. Even if it were Tuesday or Thursday next week, there's probably no way Cook can handle a flight halfway around the world and a performance in front of the whole world just hours apart. He's good, but he's not superhuman.

The second factor is the iPhone XR. Preorders start Friday, with deliveries expected the following Friday. That's already going to monopolize news. So it's unlikely Apple will want to put a second fall event right in the middle of that mess.

But what about any new hotness? For the last decade at least, Apple has never held an Apple announcement event in November or December. Of course, the past does not guarantee the future, so it's possible we'll see an event the following week.

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There's never been a November event.

Here's my current guess. We might see an event on Tuesday October 30 (Update: we will). That would keep it within October. However, early hands-on reviews for the XR are likely to be out on Monday, so Apple might not want to stamp on that buzz.

Update: Ignore the rest. I'm leaving the speculation in because it's fun. That said, we now have a date. Let's hope we get new Macs, eh?

We probably won't see an event on Wednesday October 31. Apple is unlikely to want to compete with Halloween (although it could be a fun theme to play off of). Thursday November 1 seems like a possibility, but we're still within the news cycle of the XR shipment.

Also: iPhone XR: Why the cheapest 2018 iPhone might be the one you want CNET

At this point, I'm guessing we'll see something on November 5, 6, or 7. Of course, as one of my Twitter followers pointed out, that's mid-term elections week, so Apple might not want to compete with that noise. The XR buzz should have settled. That late, there's also a lot less time to get product out for the holiday purchase cycle, but if Apple's going to announce immediate availability, those extra two weeks would give them time to build out the supply chain.

So there you are. Your guess is as good as mine. Look for something on October 30, November 1, or November 5, 6, or 7. If invites don't go out by the end of October, then assume this season's probably done and go build a Hackintosh. Then again, Apple could announce new products by randomly dropping a press release, like it did with the new 2018 MacBook Pros. Stay tuned.


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