Apple’s ‘See you on the 7th’ keynote tomorrow seems mostly set in terms of what we expect to see: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch 2 with GPS, wireless AirPods and new Beats products. But Apple has a lot of other products in the works that we don’t exactly expect to see tomorrow but would love to see leave the lab if only for a preview. 9to5Mac readers would probably put any new Macs on the top of that list, but there’s a lot of other stuff also rumored to be in the pipeline that would make for an exciting ‘One more thing’ on stage tomorrow…
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MacBook Pro with OLED/Touch ID
Every Mac except the 12″ MacBook is due for an update any day now, so it’s odd to put any new Mac in the wildcard category but Apple has seemingly broadcasted appropriately not to expect new Mac hardware at tomorrow’s event. If not for that expectation setting, it would be no surprise at all to see Apple unveil its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup with an OLED dynamic function row keyboard and Touch ID integration. For now though it sounds like Apple will save this for a later event or even private press briefings next month.
Apple is also rumored to be planning USB-C updates for its MacBook Air lineup as well as the iMac lineup. Not much good news for fans of the Mac Pro and Mac mini either. For now we’re putting those new MacBook Pros we all want in the wildcard deck.
5K Retina Display
Earlier this year Apple totally discontinued its Thunderbolt Display without offering a new product to replace it. The 27″ monitor was wildly outdated given its $1000 price tag: it lacked 4K or 5K, USB-C, and even MagSafe 2 without an adapter. We reported back in June that Apple has a 5K Retina Display in development that should eventually replace the old Thunderbolt Display and even include an integrated GPU to help more Macs drive the pixels. A recent report pointed to LG as the display manufacturer likely behind the upcoming 5K monitor, but it’s still unclear exactly when Apple plans to introduce the external Retina Display or which Macs it could work with. It remains a wildcard for now.
Siri Speaker (Amazon Echo/Google Home competitor)
Back in May it was reported that Apple is testing a Siri Speaker that would compete with the Amazon Echo and upcoming Google Home. iOS 10 introduces a Siri SDK that lets developers integrate certain apps with Apple’s voice assistant, but Siri is still tied to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac.
A dedicated Siri Speaker would free up Siri from a single personal device and put voice control features in a dedicated place in the house that multiple family members could use. Apple is even rumored to be using facial recognition features for managing user profiles for the device. Siri Speaker would be a killer holiday gift if Apple unveiled it as a ‘One more thing’ announcement tomorrow, but we haven’t heard anything new about it since the beginning of the summer.
Apple’s electric car vehicle project is the worst kept secret in Silicon Valley and Apple will surely need to unveil it to the public way before it goes on sale. Cars take a lot of lead up time to produce and Apple doesn’t risk hurting its own sales by pre-announcing Apple Car far in advance. The only risk is announcing features before they’re ready; Apple would want to avoid over promising and under delivering with the biggest new product category in its history. It still feels too early at this point, but that’s why it’s a wildcard option.
AR/VR software or hardware
Tim Cook has been on a roll with teasing that Apple is paying attention to the AR/VR space. He used to spend his time on analyst calls and in interviews hinting about bigger iPhone displays and how the wrist is an interesting place for wearables until the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch debuted. Since then it’s been very loose car talk and open discussion about how AR/VR is an interesting category. This could apply to dual camera iPhones, Apple TV gaming, Apple Car dashboards, or something else entirely, but Tim Cook doesn’t want you to forget that Apple is thinking about AR/VR.
Apple TV guide/service
Finally, Apple has been rumored to be working on deals to put together a Sling TV-like streaming video subscription service but the talks seem to be abandoned for now. Instead Apple is said to be salvaging a TV guide feature that would work on both tvOS and iOS and present available streaming options from various services. It’s a lot less ambitious than an Apple TV service and would likely be saved for a future version of the operating system or introduced alongside new hardware so we’ll consider it a wildcard.
So what would top your list of wildcard announcements that Apple could give the ‘One more thing’ treatment to during the iPhone 7 keynote tomorrow? Let us know in the comments and vote in our poll:
Apple’s keynote kicks off at 10am PT/1pm ET tomorrow. 9to5Mac will have full coverage from start to finish and everything before and after so stay tuned.