Apple's October 23rd Event Invite

Apple’s October 23rd event invite sent out to select members of the media

Today is the day that Apple will show off its latest offering, with expectations resting on a smaller, thinner and lighter iPad. Invites went out last week to select members of the media inviting them to the California Theatre in San Jose for a special event, Apple teased members of the media and onlookers with the simple phrase “We’ve got a little more to show you”.

Whilst I’m not a fan of overanalysing Apple’s invites it’s a safe assumption based on the strength of rumours and past knowledge of Apple’s subtle hints on invites that little is referring to the smaller 7.85-inch display iPad—expected to be dubbed “iPad mini”.

However the smaller iPad might not be only smaller product Apple has up its sleeve today, many are also expecting a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display to join its larger sibling that was released in June this year.

iPad mini

The iPad has been a rumour heavily debated for many months, unlike the iPhone 5 the number of actual product leaks for the iPad mini are few and far between. However solid sources have all but confirmed that the iPad mini will feature a 7.85-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 giving a pixel density of 163ppi, higher than the iPad 2 but much lower than the Retina iPad’s 264ppi. Many have suggested that it would be stupid of Apple to release a new iPad mini with a low resolution display but it seems that for the sake of price Apple will debut the iPad mini with a non-retina display and revise it in coming years.

Details of the rest of the features of the iPad mini remain slim, speculation suggests that we’ll see the iPad mini feature Apple’s A5 processor rather than the newer A6 and only 512MB of RAM. As with the larger iPad it’s expected that Apple will ship WiFi and cellular models, purported inventory leaks in recent weeks have suggested a total of 24 models of iPad mini with models starting at 8GB ranging up to 64GB available in black and white.

Pricing has also been up for much debate, the most recent rumours suggest that the lowest end iPad mini will come in at $329 in the US and range up to $659, cellular models look to carry a $130 premium over the WiFi models. This pricing is much higher than Google’s $199 entry price for the Nexus 7 (see chart below).

The iPad mini will feature a considerably smaller case and is said to be similar in design to the new iPod touch in that it has a slightly squarer case rather than the strong bevel of the iPad. The iPad mini is also expected to have a thinner front bezel on the sides to make the enclosure slimmer in width.

Expectations are for the iPad mini to be available for pre-order on October 26 with a general sale on November 2.

9.7-inch iPad

I covered some of my thoughts last week on what I think might be happening to the larger iPad. However outside of my theories there are rumours that the iPad will get a minor refresh, some sources suggest it’ll be more serious than others.

At the low end of the scale some expect that Apple will simply refresh the iPad to include Apple’s new Lightning connection. However there are some rumours that Apple will also take the opportunity to update the LTE compatibility of the iPad expanding its reach into European countries, Australia and some Asian countries. It’s also possible Apple will take the opportunity to update the A5x SoC and battery as well.

However Apple refreshes the iPad, if at all expect it to not be a feature of the event. It’s far more likely that Apple would do such an update quietly.

Macbook Pro with Retina Display

At WWDC in June Apple announced its first Mac with a Retina display—the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Rumours now suggest that Apple will release a smaller counterpart for the 15-inch in the form of a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

The 13-inch MBPwRD is expected to start at $1699. Specs are unknown but the display is said to have a resolution of 2560 x 1600.

In line with the 15-inch it’s easy to speculate that the 13-inch model will feature a fully “flash” architecture with an SSD as standard.

What Else?

Today’s event looks set to be a busy one, alongside the iPad mini and new Retina MacBook Pro it’s also rumoured that Apple will unveil new iMac and Mac mini models. Rumours have suggested that Apple will introduce a significantly slimmer iMac model, however the rumours did not pinpoint a specific date for the announcement.

For more details of what is expected in a future iMac and Mac mini refresh see this post I wrote about Apple’s Ivy Bridge updates.

Education

Mirroring Apple’s event that it held in January to unveil a new focus on education and textbooks today’s event is set to renew this focus. Apple is said to be making the iPad mini centre stage as a tablet for education markets. Over the weekend references to iBooks 3 also started popping up suggesting that Apple will update its software and also expand the availability of iBooks into new markets.

Coverage

World of Apple will not offer live coverage of today’s event. However those with an Apple TV will be able to stream the event live with the addition of the new “Apple Events” app on the Apple TV front screen today.

Today’s Apple event will kick off today at the following times:

  • 10:00AM – Pacific
  • 11:00AM – Mountain
  • 12:00PM – Central
  • 1:00PM – Eastern
  • 2:00PM – Rio de Janeiro
  • 6:00PM – London
  • 7:00PM – Paris
  • 9:00PM – Moscow
  • 2:00AM – Tokyo (Wednesday 23rd)
  • 3:00AM – Sydney (Wednesday 23rd)
  • 5:00AM – Auckland (Wednesday 23rd)

For those without an Apple TV some live coverage can be found on the World of Apple Twitter account or the following sites:

World of Apple will offer news and detailed analysis following the completion of the event.