Sometimes, I love being proved wrong.
Up until now, I’ve been convinced that we’re not going to see any new Macs this year. Apple being Apple, I thought that we’d simply have to wait another few months until the next iteration of M[something] devices is unveiled.
Now, I’m not so sure. In fact, the tech press appears to be suggesting that we’ll soon be receiving virtual invitations to yet another pre-recorded event featuring Tim and co.
It’s October. And tradition states that, if the rumours are true, this will be a Mac-only affair.
That’s very exciting indeed. Expensive, but exciting; particularly if you’re as keen as I am about the emergence of one device in particular.
When is the next Apple Mac event?
Macworld suggests that October 26th will be the most likely date for the next Mac event.
This makes sense. Clearly, it ain’t happening this week, and next Tuesday will see the launch of Google’s next-generation Pixel smartphones.
That’d be a bit of a clash, wouldn’t it?
Apple typically stages its shows on Tuesdays, which leaves October 26th as the ideal candidate for the next event. In turn, this probably means that we’ll see the tantalising invite dropping into social feeds and email inboxes next week.
If that all goes to plan, this is what I think we will – and won’t – see.
What we’ll (probably) see
The MacBook Pro is desperate for an update. The Touch Bar was arguably put out to pasture many years ago by Apple, and looks set to meet its final demise with the next iteration.
We’ve also heard rumours of more ports (the return of HDMI connectivity, even), and, finally, a brand-new design. They may even reintroduce MagSafe.
All signs point to an update to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the introduction of a new 14-inch model, which will replace the 13-inch variant (or, at the very least, send it tumbling to the bottom of the spec pile).
However, while MacBooks are almost certainly going to be the focal point of the show, there’s probably something else on the horizon which is really rather exciting.
There has been endless speculation about what Apple will do next with the brilliant M1 Mac mini. Will it keep the same chassis and simply receive some upgraded internals? Or will we finally be treated to a ‘Pro’ version of Apple’s unassuming desktop powerhouse?
I hope it’s the latter. As regular readers of my blog will know, I’ve had dreadful problems with the Bluetooth connection on the current M1 Mac mini; it’s an inherently flawed design in that regard.
But the idea of a seriously performant Mac mini with more connectivity gets me rather hot under the collar, and I think Apple is proud enough of this particular Mac to give it a bit of stage time at the next event.
What we (probably) won’t see
I love my 24” iMac. It’s the prettiest computer I’ve owned, but it’s also the most effortless desktop machine I’ve used for general office duties.
However, for many people, it simply isn’t big enough. I’ve sung the praises of that 24-inch screen – and it is indeed far bigger than many give it credit for – but I totally understand why some users just want the big one.
Alas, I don’t think we’re going to see the successor to the 27-inch iMac this year. That’s going to be a big announcement in many ways, and I think Apple knows that it will shift some of the limelight from the forthcoming updates to the MacBook Pro.
The next Mac mini is niche enough not to cause any such problems. But a headline-grabbing, super-sized, brand-new iMac would, undoubtedly, become the focal point after the event – particularly if the redesigned MacBooks Pro aren’t quite as comprehensively redesigned as some would hope (hey, this is Apple, guys).
I also doubt that we’ll see new a new MacBook Air, refreshed AirPods, an update to the Apple TV, or any sniff of what might come next year.
This will be a very tight event, and even for a Goliath like Apple, headline space remains at a premium.
What I want
I’m desperate for that 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh.
Since January, I’ve edited every video for my YouTube channel on the trusty M1 Mac mini. It does a brilliant job. But it does feel like it’s beginning to strain a little under the weight of the 10-bit 4:2:2 footage I’m throwing at it from my Sony FX3.
This is partly why I really want to see what the next Apple silicon chip can do. I also miss my Intel-based 16” MacBook Pro, because as loud and hot as that thing was, it was the ultimate portable video and audio editing rig.
But what about you? If there is to be a Mac event this month, what are you looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments!