Everything Apple Didn't Announce at Today's Event

Apple held a second hardware-centric fall event this morning in New York City, where the company launched updated iPad Pro models, a refreshed version of the MacBook Air, and a new Mac mini.

Prior to the event, though, there were rumors suggesting we'd also see some other products that didn't end up making an appearance.

iMac

Rumors suggested Apple was working on updated iMac models with new processors, but it doesn't look like the iMac lineup is going to get a 2018 refresh at this point.


There wasn't a lot of detail on what to expect from a new iMac, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo did say Apple was working on a version with an upgraded processor and a "significant display performance upgrade."

With no new iMac making an appearance at today's event, we don't know when we'll see an updated version.

MacBook

Prior to today's event, there was a lot of confusion over a rumored lower-cost notebook, which turned out to be a MacBook Air. It wasn't clear if the device would be in the MacBook Air or the MacBook family for good reason - it was rumored to be a 13-inch machine with a MacBook Air style design, a lower price tag, and a Retina display.

Those options turned out to be true, and the new MacBook Air is slimmer with thinner bezels, a faster processor, built-in Touch ID, and a Retina display, the feature previously differentiating the MacBook Air from the 12-inch MacBook.


Now that this new $1,199 MacBook Air with 8th-Gen Intel processors, Touch ID, T2 chip, and a slimmer chassis exists, it's not entirely clear what Apple plans to do with the 12-inch MacBook lineup, which starts at just $100 more.

There were rumors the 12-inch MacBook lineup would also be updated at today's event, but it wasn't refreshed.

Is this the end of the MacBook? It's not clear what Apple has in store for its thinnest, lightest machine, nor when it might see an update. With faster 8th-Gen processors and a Retina display in the new MacBook Air, the only real distinguishing feature between the MacBook and the MacBook Air is the MacBook's smaller size.

iPad mini

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said just ahead of Apple's event that a new iPad mini is in the works, but he wasn't sure if it would be included in the October 30th product unveilings. As it turns out, it wasn't, and if a new iPad mini is in development, there's no word on when we'll see it launch.

AirPower and AirPods

There was some speculation that Apple could still debut the AirPower charging mat and compatible AirPods at its October event, but that didn't happen.


We have no idea when we might expect to see the AirPower launch, if it is indeed still in the works, nor when Apple will launch updated AirPods. At this point, it looks like we may not see these products until sometime in 2019.

Mac Pro

We were hoping to get a little peek at Apple's work on its promised high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that Apple is developing for release in 2019, but it looks like we're going to have a longer wait to get our first glimpse at Apple's pro-focused machine.

Missing iPhone XR Cases and iPad Smart Covers

It's still not clear why Apple hasn't introduced cases for the iPhone XR, especially after mentioning special clear cases for the device in the iPhone XR press release in some countries, but following today's event, there's still no sign of Apple-designed iPhone XR cases.

Apple also did not introduce new Smart Covers for its updated 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, but there are new Smart Folio options and the new Smart Keyboard Folio.

Related Roundups: iMac, iPad mini 5

Top Rated Comments

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26 months ago
I find it sad that $1200 is considered 'budget' for a notebook, especially one thats made from scrap and low-end components.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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26 months ago
I need an iPad mini because its size means it can go everywhere I go, and any moment I have a minute of free time, the display is just large enough to sketch and do some graphics or spreadsheet work on. An iPhone is too small, and the next size iPad Pro is too big to be tucked into a jacket pocket or back pants pocket. The mini is the right size, it’s just running on a what 4 year old chipset & is woefully lacking pencil support. To hear Apple describe it as the budget iPad indicates they don’t even understand its strengths any better than the people who mistakenly assume an iPhone is a capable replacement for it, or that it’s the most popular iPad because it’s cheap. There are already cheap iPads. We don’t need it to be cheap, we need it to be capable.

Give it newer chips, and pencil support, sell a trillion of them.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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26 months ago

Sometimes people unrealistically hope for things at an event, like expecting a bunch of hardware at WWDC, so there's no real reason to be disappointed. But this time there was no part of me that thought there wouldn't be an iMac at this event. I thought it was a sure thing. So I was pretty disappointed when 35 minutes in, they were already done with the Mac portion of the event. :( Oh well. Back to waiting.

Years ago Apple had no problem refreshing the iMac at least once a year, sometimes multiple times in a year as needed to maintain current hardware. Same for the Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and even the Mac mini (though a couple times the mini fell behind by six months to a year, which back then was enough for people to speculate it was being discontinued). But in recent years the Mac lineup has been severely neglected with inconsistent and infrequent refreshes. A Mac mini from 2014 being sold alongside a MacBook Air from 2015 being sold alongside a MacBook Pro from 2018.

I started watching this event expecting to see Apple finally working on improving the frequency and consistency of Mac refreshes and the Mac lineup. We would get iMacs with 8th generation hex-core CPUs, and a Mac mini with 8th generation CPUs at the same time. The MacBook would be discontinued to prevent confusion, non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro refreshed with 8th generation CPUs, and a new Retina MacBook Air introduced to replace the MacBook and embarrassingly-outdated 2015 hardware at the same time. The only severely-outdated product left would be the Mac Pro, set to get a refresh next year.

But after the event, the portable Mac lineup is instead more confusing now than it has ever been at any point during the last 20 years. Different processor generations, different screen sizes, Touch ID or no Touch ID or Touch ID + Touch Bar, and plenty of overlap with the intended audience of each model. As someone who is more knowledgeable when it comes to Macs, I still need a guide to sort through this. Just can't imagine what kind of decision a novice user would be faced with here, especially a novice user on a budget faced with the higher prices of the new MacBook Air almost going into MacBook Pro territory.

On the desktop side, the iMac is still using processors from a year and a half ago. I simply can't recommend it to anyone when even the Mac mini offers better CPU performance with 8th generation hex-core i5/i7, but still has its own compromises (poor GPU performance, and of course no 5K display). Apple has had a year to engineer a new iMac with adequate cooling for the 8th generation CPUs, and already had the iMac Pro to start with, so there's really no excuse for not having some kind of refresh ready for the iMac by now. And $799 is not an inexpensive computer, why does the new Mac mini come with a low-end i3 processor when Apple could've made the i5 standard and i7 the next model up?

Tim Cook can brag about the Mac adoption numbers all he wants, but I just don't see Apple's commitment to the Mac returning to where it once was. Yes, the Mac mini and MacBook Air both got much-needed refreshes, which I was happy to see. But the continuation of inconstant refreshes and confusing portable lineup show the Mac is still being mismanaged and neglected by modern Apple.

(Sorry for the long post. Just hope I managed to get the point across.)
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Another thing they didn’t announce was the same pricing as the outgoing models!

On the bright side, the new mini appears to have RAM slots again, which is good if it’s another 5 years between updates.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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26 months ago
Just speculation on my part but I think we did see the future of the MacPro.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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26 months ago
I'm still kind of disappointed in the lack of update for the iMac. I wanted to buy that this year, hoping for an 9th gen i9 designed around all NVME.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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