Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apple set to hold iPad-centric event on Oct. 22

Apple hasn't sent out invitations yet -- it's still nearly two weeks away, and the company generally sends them only a week in advance -- but expectations are that the company will hold a press conference on Oct. 22. Sources told AllThingsD on Tuesday that the focus of the October event will be -- as expected -- new iPads, but OS X Mavericks and the new Mac Pro will likely get some FaceTime (pun intended) as well.

Everyone (be honest) has expected Apple to release both new iPads and iPad minis before the holiday shopping season. As November and Black Friday began to loom, the announcement of a date seemed imminent. To be clear, Apple hasn't sent its press invites yet, but expect those next Monday or Tuesday.

The iPad 5 (or whatever Apple decides to call it -- new, new iPad? -- will probably run a version Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip, most likely an A7X to support the device's Retina display. It will almost certainly be thinner and lighter, and will likely feature a design similar to the iPad mini's.

Other possible upgrades include an improved camera and the TouchID fingerprint sensor recently introduced on the iPhone 5s.

Meanwhile, it's unclear what iPad mini upgrades we will see. Some recent rumors have said Apple is having supply difficulties with the smaller tablet's Retina display, meaning that it won't have one until a 2014 refresh. However, for a long time most have believed an iPad mini with a Retina display was definitely coming.

It's also unclear what processor the device will use. The current iPad mini uses the A5 chip, so Apple could move to an A6 or A6X chip for the new model or perhaps go all the way to an A7 or A7X chip. It, too, might receive a TouchID upgrade.

Interestingly enough, the Oct. 22 date will steal Microsoft's thunder: It collides with the retail debut of Microsoft’s new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets in the U.S. It also coincides with Nokia’s Innovation Reinvented event.

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