I've said many times that anticipating Apple's next move has long been a spectator sport. And now that Apple has unveiled two new iPhones, the 5c and the 5s, folks can obsess on topics that went unaddressed during [last] Tuesday's media gathering in Cupertino, Calif.
With that in mind, it's time to play another round of What Is Apple Cook-ing Up Next?
OS X Mavericks. Apple announced that iOS 7, the mobile operating system at the heart not only of the iPhone but also the iPad and iPod Touch is coming on Sept. 18. This begs the question: what about OS X Mavericks, the next version of the operating system for Macintosh computers? Apple previewed Mavericks at its Worldwide Developer's Conference in June, and the latest version of OS X brings the Mac operating system ever closer to iOS. Apple has said that Mavericks will be coming this fall, but there's still no official release date. It's reasonable to assume we'll see Mavericks in October.
MacBook Pro with Haswell chips. Back in June, Apple brought out a thin and light MacBook Air laptop that was powered by Intel 's latest processor "Haswell." Thanks in good part to that power -efficient processor, the machines boast excellent battery life. Expect Haswell to turn up inside Apple's pricier MacBook Pro laptops when those computers get a refresh, quite likely at the same time that Mavericks makes its debut. Down the line, you can also expect versions of Apple's other Macs, including the iMac and Mac Mini, with beefier internal specs.
IPad and iPad Mini refresh. October promises to be a busy month for Apple. The betting is we'll see new versions of the iPad and iPad Mini next month, roughly a year after Apple introduced the Mini at an event in San Jose. The new tablets are expected to be thinner, but a big question is whether the latest Mini gets the standout Retina Display that is on its full-size siblings.
Apple TV. Rumors of a flat-panel Apple TV have been around so long you'd think Howdy Doody first floated the idea. (Of course, Steve Jobs' interest in doing a TV was revealed in the Walter Isaacson biography.) A true Apple TV may indeed happen some day, but a more likely near-term scenario is some sort of upgrade to the Apple TV set-top box that the company currently sells for $99. A new Apple TV might run apps or feature a version of Game Center. AllThingsD is reporting that a refresh to the box might come as soon as Sept. 18 that tweaks the AirPlay system so that the box might function more like Google's Chromecast. As they say in the TV biz, stay tuned.
iWatch. Another rumor that won't go away is Apple's interest in the smartwatch. The stakes were raised by archrival Samsung last week when it unveiled its own Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch at an event in Berlin. Speaking at the AllThingsD conference last spring, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that "the wrist is interesting" and that wearable computers is an area "ripe for exploration." There's no telling when an iWatch might appear, and Apple -- despite the emerging competition -- isn't likely to deliver a watch just because others have beaten them to the space. But the clock is ticking.
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