What to Expect From an Apple Event in October: iPad Pro, M2 Macs, and More
Following its September event focused on new iPhone and Apple Watch models, Apple often holds another event in October focused on new iPad and Mac models, and this year will likely be no exception. October is still three weeks away, but we already have a good idea of the products that would likely be announced at an event next month.
For the October event, rumors suggest that Apple plans to announce new iPad Pro models with the M2 chip, a redesigned 10th-generation entry-level iPad, and at least a few more Macs powered by the M2 series of chips, with potential candidates including the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, the Mac mini, and/or the Mac Pro.
iPad Pro With M2 Chip
Apple plans to release new iPad Pro models with the M2 chip and MagSafe wireless charging support in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models of the iPad Pro are expected to be updated, but the 11-inch model is still not expected to feature a mini-LED display.
The next iPad Pro models will feature a similar chassis design as the current models, but with "four-pin connectors" on the top and bottom edges, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The purpose of these connectors and whether they would replace the existing three-pin Smart Connector on the iPad Pro is unclear.
Apple last updated the iPad Pro in April 2021, with new features including the M1 chip, a Thunderbolt port, 5G support for cellular models, a mini-LED display on the 12.9-inch model, and an upgraded 12-megapixel front camera with support for Apple's Center Stage feature, which helps keep you within the frame in video apps like FaceTime.
Apple is expected to unveil a redesigned entry-level iPad in October with a larger 10.5-inch display, a USB-C port, and a flat-edged chassis with a rear camera bump. Other rumored features include an A14 Bionic chip and 5G support for cellular models.
While the 10th-generation iPad is expected to retain a Touch ID home button, rumors suggest the device will no longer have a headphone jack.
A questionable report from Mac Otakara claimed that the 10th-generation iPad will actually feature a Touch ID power button on the top edge of the chassis, like the latest iPad Air and iPad mini models. The report also claimed that the FaceTime camera could be positioned in the right bezel of the device for landscape usage.
Apple released the 9th-generation iPad in September 2021, with key features including a 10.2-inch display, an A13 Bionic chip, an upgraded 12-megapixel front camera with support for the Center Stage feature, True Tone, and double the base storage. In the U.S., the 10.2-inch iPad starts at $329 with 64GB of storage.
More Macs With M2 Chips
In late August, Gurman said Apple had been working on M2-based Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro models, adding that we were "likely to see at least a pair of those machines about two months from now," which lines up with October. However, it is possible that some of these Macs could be announced later in the year or next year.
Mac mini With M2 and M2 Pro Chips
Apple released the Mac mini with an M1 chip as one of its first three Apple silicon Macs in November 2020. Nearly two years later, a new version of the Mac mini with an M2 chip is on the horizon, according to Gurman.
Apple still sells a higher-priced Mac mini configuration with Intel processors, but Gurman said it will be succeeded by a model with an M2 Pro chip.
MacBook Pro With M2 Pro and M2 Max Chips
Apple's next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are "well into development and testing," and planned for release "as early as this fall," according to Gurman. As usual in recent years, Gurman said the timeframe could be pushed back due to supply chain disruptions or other factors.
While some reports suggested that the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips may be Apple's first 3nm chips, it looks increasingly likely that the chips will remain 5nm. The chips would still have modest performance improvements over the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, and increases in GPU core counts and unified memory (RAM) are also likely.
Mac Pro With M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" Chips
After announcing the Mac Studio at its March 2022 event, Apple teased that an Apple silicon version of the Mac Pro tower was coming later.
Back in 2020, Apple said its transition from Intel processors to Apple silicon chips across the Mac lineup would take around two years to be completed, so the new Mac Pro is expected to be announced by the end of 2022.
The new Mac Pro will be equipped with "M2 Ultra" and "M2 Extreme" chips, according to Gurman. It's possible the new Mac Pro will be smaller due to the switch to Apple silicon, but it's unclear if the desktop computer will have any major design changes compared to the current Intel-based model released in December 2019.
The new Mac Pro would be the fastest Mac ever, topping the Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra chip.
Apple TV With A14 Chip?
Apple plans to launch a new Apple TV with an "improved cost structure" in the second half of 2022, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, but it's unclear if the device would be announced during the October event or at another time.
A new Apple TV is in development with an A14 chip and 4GB of RAM, according to Gurman, but it's unclear if this model is the same one that Kuo referred to. Either way, the internal upgrades would result in faster performance compared to the current Apple TV 4K, which is equipped with an A12 chip and 3GB of RAM.
Released in April 2021, the current Apple TV 4K starts at $179 with 32GB of storage, while the Apple TV HD remains available for $149. By comparison, there are many streaming sticks from brands like Chromecast and Roku available for between $25 and $100.
iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura Release Dates
Apple says iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura will be released in October, and exact release dates will likely be announced at the event.