Apple will hold its traditional October announcement event Thursday, October 16 at 10 a.m. Pacific — and will stream it live to Mac and iOS users through Safari. In addition, second and third-generation Apple TV owners can kick back in the living room and watch the event unfold, too.
Most recently, Apple live streamed its iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcement in last month — with mixed results. The first half of the event was dominated by an Asian translator talking over the stream while Apple CEO Tim Cook presented. To make matters worse, the stream cut in and out for many of the viewers.
This time around Apple might have the kinks ironed out . . . and because the topic isn’t the fabulously popular iPhone 6, not as many people will likely watch, freeing up some bandwidth for the die-hard Apple fans.
And what might be coming?
The teaser for the event is, “It’s been way too long,” which implies that Apple has not been delivering on a product for a long time. Personally, I think it’s the worst teaser I’ve heard in a long time, but hey, at least there’s a good chance that Apple will deliver something new to a product that needs it. Or better yet, change an industry.
I believe Apple will introduce a new Apple TV. Why? The third-generation unit hasn’t been updated with new hardware in more than two years. Plus, Apple has fiddled with the Apple TV as “a hobby” for years before Cook said it’s selling well enough to warrant consideration as a non-hobby product.
The competition is getting better — Roku has a decent product lineup and Amazon’s Fire TV is fast and easy to use, too. Smart TVs that have apps for Netflix and Hulu built-in . . . despite a wide variety of interfaces and sometimes laggy response, owners seem to love them and the single remotes that run their TVs and the apps.
The Apple TV app ecosystem should be ready to open, too — I’m sure more than a few third-party developers would like a crack at the Apple TV market.
New iPads, Maybe a New Retina iMac
Of course, Apple is due to deliver its annual iPad update. Most watchers expect a Touch ID home button, and a rumored iPad case photo shows an even slimmer iPad Air design. The iPad Air is already crazy light, so this isn’t exactly treading on new ground. Either way, hold off on your iPad purchases until you know what’s available this season.
The same goes for the iMac, which is due for an update, too.
There’s some rumors that Apple will introduce a Retina 5K screen on an iMac. Odds are, the company will price it relatively high and keep selling the non-Retina versions for awhile, giving iMac fans a tough choice — a sharp screen with a nice price or a super-duper sharp screen with a (likely) heftier price?
There’s also some talk about a 12-inch MacBook Air or an even larger iPad. Nothing definitive.
If you want to watch it unfold live, set your calendar for October 16.