For about a week before the September 12 Apple announcement event, our editorial team prepared. The rumor mills had been spinning predictions at warp speed, so we had to be ready for whatever Tim & Company announced.
Some of us were to write about the iPhones, others about the Watch. Because of my moderately unhealthy obsession with the Mac mini, I was assigned coverage of it should a new model be announced (it wasn't). Expectations were high for new iPads, the AirPower charger, and a second generation of EarPods.
Alas, September 12 came and went. We heard about the amazing new features of the Apple Watch Series 4 (even if they're not available yet) and the trifurcation of the iPhone X into XR, XS, and the unfortunately named XS Max.
For those looking forward to new releases of anything other than phones and the Watch, September was a disappointment. The big question going forward is simple: is this all there is? Are we destined to continue through the rest of 2018 without updates to some very key kit?
A second fall event
I've shown you a variation of this table before. It's derived from ten years of data posted by AAPL Investors. This time, I've diced up my master spreadsheet to show just fall events. As the table shows, Apple has held a second fall event 60 percent of the time.
Furthermore, that second event has NEVER included new iPhone announcements, has always included a Mac announcement, and in four of the six second fall events, has also included an iPad announcement.
Speaking of iPad announcements, there is some evidence that a 2018 iPad is on its way. According to a piece reported by 9to5Mac, an iOS 12.1 beta release includes an identifier (a data stub) mentioning a "2018 fall" iPad. While placeholders sometimes do show up in products before they're fully baked in, this sort of indicator is a moderately good sign that a fall iPad will be released.
Given that two thirds of previous second fall events include iPad announcements, this is some good supporting fodder for there being a second Apple event this season.
If it happens, when?
Looking back at our event data, we can see that when Apple holds a second fall event, it's always in October. Based on historical practice, Apple actually holds more events in October than it does in any other month other than September.
As for when, it's definitely not going to be in the next few weeks. When Apple holds an Apple event, it usually holds it during the third week of the month. The only exception has been in 2008, when it held a Mac event on the 14th and in 2014, when it held an iPad and Mac event on the 16th.
Additionally, don't expect to have a definitive date for the event until mid-month. Invites for the October event are generally less than eight days from the event itself. Don't expect to hear anything from Apple until sometime between October 12 and October 19.
In terms of day of the week, Apple has held their October event on two Thursdays, three Tuesdays, and one Wednesday (back in 2010). Its most recent October events (2016 and 2014) have both been on Thursdays.
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Therefore, with a statistical base of information far too small to be statistically valid, it's time for some predictions:
- There will probably be an October event
- It will almost definitely discuss a new iPad and possibly a Mac
- It will probably occur the week of October 22
- Go ahead and tentatively mark your calendars for either Tuesday, October 23 or Thursday October 25.
So there you go. As always, remember there are lies, damned lies, statistics, and whatever the heck my Excel chart is. That said, there's a pretty good chance you'll see some Apple event action in just about four weeks.
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