We’ve basically just caught our collective breaths after Apple’s contentious iPhone 7 launch last month, and now the company has announced an event for next week. The September event saw new iPhones, a couple new Watches and a whole load of controversy, but here’s what we expect from the ‘hello again’ keynote.
A new MacBook Pro
This has been one of the worst kept secrets since, well, the iPhone 7, but it’s been widely accepted that the MacBook Pro – the base model has remained untouched since 2012 – will be given a lick of paint, some bolstered innards and a host of nifty features to boot.
Much like its little sibling the MacBook, the Pro is rumoured to be doing away with the traditional USB port in favour of the more streamlined USB-C; though it will likely come with more than one port unlike the MacBook. There is a possibility that Apple might take the route it went with in the MacBook and do away with the Magsafe charger as well and have a USB-C in its place.
The big selling point of the device however is rumoured to be an OLED touch bar on top of the keyboard that will act as a multi-purpose toolbar. Patents have been swirling about for a while so we’d be surprised if this didn’t surface in the device.
More under the banner of speculation are rumours that the device will also feature an e-ink keyboard. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be typing on a touchscreen a la an Amazon Kindle, but that the keys will be blank and developers will have the opportunity to create different keyboards for different purposes. This could be a great opportunity for Apple to champion accessibility and attempt to conquer an area which is often ignored when it comes to keyboards. Then again, we’ll just probably end up with hundreds of different emoji keyboards. It would also serve as a money-saving exercise for the company as they would no longer need to produce different physical keyboards for different regions. Once again, I’ll say that this is an unlikely upgrade but it would be a very interesting feature nonetheless.
Something about the MacBook Air
The MacBook Air is, in its current form, pretty redundant.
Heavier, bulkier and less powerful than the latest MacBook, its brushed silver look seems dated when considering Apple’s tendency to stray towards darker greys and brighter golds.
Now there are two distinct directions here that Apple could go.
Firstly, Apple could discontinue the 11-inch model, and bulk up the specs of the 13-inch to give consumers a reason to buy one instead of a MacBook. Or, they could take a decidedly more definite step and kill off the Air altogether. After all, what’s the point in having a device called the ‘Air’ when your standard MacBook is lighter and more compact.
Either way, with a critically acclaimed and commercially successful MacBook and a new MacBook Pro on the horizon, Steve Jobs’ envelope-sized notebook could not be long for this world.
File this one under general housekeeping, but Apple will probably talk about how great the iMac is doing and refresh the range with some beefed out specs. Don’t expect anything nearly as exciting as 2014’s 5K Retina display model.
Again, this will likely just be Apple talking about how many people have adopted MacOS Sierra, and probably throwing some shade on Microsoft’s Windows 10 upgrade debacle in the process. We might hear about how the new MacBook Pro was designed with Sierra in mind, making all of us non-OLED toolbar users envious in the process.
Apple will probably also announce a release date for iOS 10.1 for iPhone and iPad.
Peripherals and Airpods
With all this new hardware will also no doubt come new peripherals to boot. It wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility to see an expensive and battery draining OLED external keyboard or a Touch ID enabled Magic Mouse.
Also, don’t forget those tiny bluetooth headphones that we saw at the iPhone launch last month. We’d be surprised if we didn’t get some more details about the Airpods, with a likely release date this side of Christmas.
So that’s about all we can imagine Apple will show off next week, but don’t forget there’s always the possibility of one more thing…