Following the iPhone 13 launch in September, Apple is gearing up for another event on October 18. This time it’s likely to be centered around its lineup of Mac computers, which are due for their yearly refresh. Apple’s adoption of in-house Mac silicon last year suggests the October 18 Apple event is likely to give us an upgraded chipset too. Or at least that’s what the rumors, leaks, and predictions say.
Here’s how to watch, and some of the rumors surrounding the upcoming Apple devices.
What time is the Apple Mac event?
The livestream kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. Here are the converted times for some other major cities/time zones:
- Chicago: 12:00 PM
- New York: 1:00 PM
- London: 6:00 PM
- Berlin: 7:00 PM
- Moscow: 8:00 PM
- New Delhi: 10:30 PM
- Singapore: 1:00 AM on Tuesday, October 19
- Sydney: 4:00 AM on Tuesday, October 19
How can I watch the Apple Mac event?
Gary Sims / Android Authority
Apple announced a transition to its own silicon last year at the November 2020 event, switching from Intel to Arm-based technology. The transition timeline was set at two years, making this event the midpoint in the plan. The M1 chip is already a superb performer, but Apple is likely to beef up its silicon with an upgraded model at this event.
This is where the new MacBook Pros come in. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is expected to return with this new silicon inside. Meanwhile, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is expected to receive a screen size upgrade, becoming a 14-inch MacBook Pro, in addition to receiving the new silicon.
The upcoming Apple silicon chip has been dubbed the Apple M1X, but speculation is that Apple may choose to name it M2X, M2, or something else entirely.
Noted Apple analyst Mark Gurman says there could be two chips with this new generation, though. Both could feature a 10-core CPU configuration, with eight high-performance cores and two efficiency cores. The difference between the two chips would be the GPU core configuration. One would use 16 cores for the GPU, and the other 32. Whether these chips would both be offered in both MacBook Pro sizes — or whether the smaller MacBook Pro would get the less powerful GPU with the 32-core version reserved for MacBook Pro 16 — remains to be seen.
As far as the other changes to these new MacBook Pros go, it looks like we might get some of the real “pro” features back. A redesigned body, more ports — including HDMI and an SD card reader — and a new MagSafe charger are all allegedly in the cards. There are also rumors that the screens on these new MacBook Pros could be mini-LED. We may also see a 120Hz refresh rate. ProMotion on Macs!
Also read: Apple M1 tested
New Mac Mini
The Mac Mini has always been seen as an affordable and low-key Mac. That was until Apple introduced the M1 version, and made it the best bang-for-buck performer in the whole lineup. Now, it looks like we may see an even beefier version of the Mac Mini, with the new Apple silicon.
Gurman has said that this new Mac Mini could receive an updated design and more ports, as well as more RAM options — although storage options are likely to remain the same. If the rumors about the Mac Mini offering the same silicon as the new MacBook Pros is true, Apple might name this the Mac Mini Pro.
Some rumors say that the updated Mac Mini might be delayed to 2022. With the supply chain disruptions, this may turn out to be the case, but it seems fairly possible that we could see it launched at the October 2021 Apple event anyway.
Related: How to run iOS apps on Mac
While this is likely to be a predominantly Mac event, there is a chance we may see the much-anticipated AirPods 3 this time. Information on AirPods 3 has leaked quite a bit, so we have some idea about what to expect.
We expect a new design, with Gurman noting that the AirPods 3 will look like the AirPods Pro, except without the ear tips. This means no Active Noise Cancellation, but rumors point to Dolby Atmos support and better battery life. We could also see a bigger battery in the charging case, improving the overall time between plugging them in.
There’s a good chance we don’t see the AirPods 3 at the event at all, and instead get a website refresh a few days from now. Either way, all signs point to an imminent launch.
The unlikely ones — iMac Pro, Mac Pro, MacBook Air
There are a few more product updates that have been rumored since Apple announced its silicon transition. Apple released the new iMac only a few months ago but with beefier silicon anticipated, it could bring a refresh of Apple’s more professional computers sooner than later.
The iMac Pro is in desperate need of an Apple silicon treatment, and we wouldn’t mind a bezel-less design with less muted colors than the ones on the new iMac. Also in the lineup is the Mac Pro, Apple’s most powerful and most expensive Mac. However, moving these to custom silicon is likely to be part of the final act of Apple’s transition. So it’s more likely they’ll arrive sometime next year.
The MacBook Air could also get upgraded chips, although there’s arguably less need for an update to this range right now. Given that it’s the best it has been in years, the MacBook Air is likely to continue its current life-cycle for longer.
As such, we’re not expecting any of these devices to show up at the event this year.
“One More Thing” wildcard entry — iPod Touch
Hear me out. Ever since Apple began its lossless audio push, I have been saying that we need the iPod Touch to make a return. The iPod Touch has been sitting untouched for a while now — the seventh-generation redesign has gone on for too long. We’ve seen Apple bring product lines back from the dead after years — see the iPad Air. This could be the perfect time for the iPod Touch to make a return.
The very first iPod was launched on October 23, 2001, making the event week the 20th anniversary of that launch. This is reason enough for Apple to bring it back from the dead. A design update would do very well, here. The seventh-gen iPod Touch has also witnessed dwindling stock availability of late, which could be another hint at a refresh.
However, this could also mean Apple is discontinuing the iPod. Although it seems cruel to do that on the 20th anniversary of what is essentially a product that brought Apple itself back from the dead. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an iPod announcement.
What do you want to see at Apple’s October 2021 event? Let us know in the comments.