French site MacG, which has an imperfect track-record, claims to have been given the dates on which the new MacBook Pros, iPads and Mac Pro will go on sale. The claimed dates are:
- MacBook Pro on October 24th or 25th
- iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 on October 30th or 31st
- Mac Pro on November 15th
With Apple’s media event scheduled for 22nd October, this would put the MacBook Pros on sale very quickly indeed, just two or three days later.
However, the iPad and Mac Pro dates do not make as much sense. Apple has typically launched its new iPad models on Fridays (or Saturday for the original version), making it unlikely that the new tablets would hit store shelves on a Wednesday or Thursday (as the MacGeneration report claims).
As for the Mac Pro, that machine is a built-to-order computer, so perhaps it would be difficult to pinpoint an actual launch date for that product. MacG also happened to have claimed that Apple’s event would occur today, so that does not add much credibility to these new claims.
Below is what we’re expecting to see for each product …
For the MacBook Pros, the key selling point will be Haswell processors. This will substantially boost battery-life (Haswell-powered MacBook Airs almost doubled the battery-life of the previous models) and possibly allow them to drive 4K displays. It’s also possible for the front-facing camera to be upgraded to 1080p.
The iPad 5 is expected to have the same slim bezel design as the current iPad Mini, to be thinner and lighter than the current model, available in the same colors as the iPhone 5s, be powered by the same A7 chip and to have a larger-aperture 8MP rear camera. We’ve heard conflicting rumors about whether it will have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor or whether Apple will want to keep that as a unique-selling-point for the iPhone 5s (for now).
The key new feature of the iPad Mini 2 is expected to be a Retina display, though we understand that a non-Retina version has also been tested internally, possibly as an entry-level model. The Retina display will require a beefier battery, so we’re expecting it to be very marginally thicker and wider. We’re expecting it to have a variant on the A7 chip from the iPhone 5s, while the non-Retina version – if launched – will likely have an A6.
The Mac Pro has, of course, already been announced. Key features are lightening-fast PCIe-based flash storage, dual-workstation GPUs, Thunderbolt 2 and the ability to support up to three 4K displays.
In the Apple product pipeline is also a refreshed Apple TV, new versions of iWork, an updated version of Final Cut Pro and to confirm the release date for Mavericks - though we have wondered whether all this might be too much for one event.