Just last month, Apple unveiled the all-new iPhone 13 lineup, along with a new Apple Watch and a couple of new iPads. However, many Apple fans are still awaiting another series of updates in Apple’s product line. We’re quickly approaching the one-year mark since the M1-powered MacBook Air, Pro, and Mac Mini were introduced. And it’s here where Apple is likely to bring everyone a bit of excitement.
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Apple October 2021 Event Details
Apple surprised everyone with its announcement of the ‘Unleashed’ event. This will be yet another virtual event, as we’re still not to the point where Apple can invite people to its campus for an in-person event. The tagline for the event is “Unleashed” and it looks like something you would see out of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit right before Han and Chewbacca hit hyperdrive.
Just as we’ve seen with all of Apple’s most recent events, ‘Unleashed’ will be live-streamed for the whole world to watch. Currently, the event is scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. PDT, and here’s what time it will start in other regions of the globe:
- New York (EDT) – 10/18 @ 1 p.m.
- Dallas (CDT) – 10/18 @ 12 p.m.
- Hawaii (HST) – 10/18 @ 7 a.m.
- London, England – 10/18 @ 5 p.m.
- Sydney, Australia – 10/19 @ 3 a.m.
- Tokyo, Japan – 10/19 @ 2 a.m.
- Beijing, China – 10/19 @ 1 a.m.
There’s no telling how long the event will take, as it just depends on what new products Apple plans to show off. And if there are any crazy new features, we know that Apple will spend a lot of time on stage providing details regarding how those new features will make out lives better.
What To Expect
Up until now, we have been seeing and hearing a lot of rumors about Apple’s plans to revamp its currently Mac lineup. The only Mac that is extremely unlikely to be mentioned is the iMac, as that was just refreshed a few short months ago. Apple could take the time to introduce a new iMac Pro, but that’s extremely unlikely.
New Apple Processor
Even before the M1 chip made its way into the hands of Apple fans everywhere, the hype train surrounding this self-developed PC processor was incredible. But no matter how incredible it was (and still is), there are a few potential pain-points surrounding the M1, and it has everything to do with the “Pro” market.
The current M1 processor has certain limitations such as a maximum configuration with 16GB of RAM, and more performance cores. There’s also a limitation, for devices like the MacBook, where you can only attach up to two external displays, depending on the device. Previous leaks and rumors point to Apple introducing a new processor dubbed the M1X or M2.
If Apple comes out and says these new Macs are powered by the M1X, then you can surmise that this is more of an iterative update. Faster speeds, better compatibility, and simply just a better overall processor. But if the M2 is announced, this would be Apple’s successor to the M1, promising all of the same changes as the M1X but likely with a few more in-tow.
For much of the year, rumors and leaks have suggested that a new MacBook Pro has been in the works. But this won’t be your ordinary “run of the mill” MacBook Pro when it comes to the design. Expectations are that Apple will re-introduce a few ports, while completely overhauling the design and aesthetics. To put it in the words of Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is ready to introduce its “first MacBook Pro revamp in five years”.
Recently, Gurman reported that the new MacBook Pro will “include a new design, a MagSafe magnetic charger, and revamped displays”. We’re also expecting Apple to move away from the tried-and-true 13.3-inch model in favor of a 14-inch display. Seeing what Apple has done before, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the dimensions were the same, but slimmer bezels make their way into the Mac lineup.
If Apple is ready to “unleash” a series of Pro devices, then it will need to bring back some ports other than just upgrading the existing ones to support Thunderbolt 4. It would appear as though this will happen, as Gurman also claims the new MacBook Pro will feature an HDMI port at the very least. We could also see the demise of the Touch Bar, which regularly falls in either the “hate it” or “love it” camp.
More recently, we’ve learned a bit regarding the actual displays that Apple could introduce with the MacBook Pro. It seems that Apple will continue moving forward with Mini LED panels, similar to what the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro offers. Additionally, we could see slimmer bezels, an upgraded 1080p webcam, and potentially even a faster 120Hz refresh rate.
Along with the M1X / M2, Apple is said to be bumping up the base configuration for the MacBook Pro. The new chipset is set to be paired with at least 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, and this will be the case for both the 14-inch and 16-inch models.
Much like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, Apple has been selling the same Mac Mini for years. The design has not changed all that much, and that includes the model released last year with the M1 chip. Previous leaks and rumors point to a slight redesign, but one that is slimmer and lighter compared to the current offering.
Apple is said to introduce the same magnetic charger on the Mac Mini that was introduced with the redesigned 24-inch iMac. This makes it easier to disconnect, and the power cable itself could offer an integrated Ethernet jack.
In terms of ports, here’s what we’re expecting:
- Four Thunderbolt
- Two USB-A
These are the same ports that the current Mac Mini offers, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see changes on this front. We also shouldn’t be surprised if the M1X/M2-powered Mac Mini sees a price increase, given that it is more powerful than the current generation.
It’s been more than two years since the “standard” AirPods 2 were released, which means we’re long overdue for the AirPods 3. These have been leaked and rumored for the better part of a year. Most recently, they were expected to launch alongside the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7.
However, here we are in October 2021, and there are still no clear indications as to when Apple will unveil the AirPods 3. Despite ‘Unleashed’ expected to be a Mac-centric event, many leakers have claimed that this is when the AirPods 3 will finally debut.
In terms of the design, previous leaks point to the AirPods adopting the AirPods Pro design. But we won’t have the silicone ear-tips, as the AirPods 3 will continue to just rest inside your ear canal.
Unfortunately, while AirPods 3 is likely to adopt the AirPods Pro design, this doesn’t mean that we’ll be getting “Pro” features. Things like Active Noise Cancellation likely won’t be included, as Apple still needs to reserve some features for its AirPods Pro.
What Apple is expected to include is better battery life, along with improved sound quality. The touch controls could also be changed, matching up with how you control music with the stem on the AirPods Pro. Currently, the only way to control your media playback is through a single or double-tap gesture.
What are you excited for?
It’s been a busy month for Apple, and it’s only about to get even busier. But we want to know what you are excited to see from the Unleashed event? Are you finally going to upgrade your old Intel MacBook Pro for one of the shiny new M1X/M2 models? Will you be picking up the AirPods 3? Sound off in the comments and let us know!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.