As expected, September saw the arrival of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR alongside the health-centric Apple Watch Series 4. This was undoubtedly a heavy-hitting roster of hardware but it was also overshadowed by what was missing.
Rumors hyped up the potential launches of the AirPower, new iPad Pros, and a MacBook Air refresh, but they were all left unaddressed. All of these unannounced products begs the question of whether we could see another product launch before the end of 2018?
While the iPhone keynote has often-times been Apple’s final media event of the calendar year, there is recent precedent for a follow-up. In fact, multiple MacBook Pro and iPad launches have followed the annual iPhone debut, for example 2016’s rollout of the Macbook Pro featuring a Touch Bar. If the company follows this precedent, invites for another product launch could go out as early as October 8.
Apple Event: When Could It Happen?
If we do see more Apple products this year, all signs point to mid or late October. Every major iPhone event, dating back to the 2012 event for the iPhone 5, has occurred in September. Since then, Apple has hosted four events in October following the announcement of its flagship smartphone, with the invites going out roughly a week beforehand.
- iPad Mini, 4th Gen iPad, iMac, and MacBook Pro: Invite sent October 16, 2012. Event hosted October 23.
- iPad Air, 2nd Gen iPad Mini, MacBook Pro: Invite sent October 15, 2013. Event hosted October 22.
- iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iMac: Invite sent October 8, 2014. Event hosted October 16.
- MacBook Pro: Invite sent October 20, 2016. Event hosted October 27.
The tech company hosted October events three years in a row, then skipped 2015. Apple skipped 2017 as well, which could mean that this is the year when it establishes a once-every-other-year cadence for its October announcements.
We’ll find out if this is the case soon enough, as these events have never come later than October. If it’s happening invites will go out either the week of October 8 or October 15, with the event held roughly seven days afterward.
Apple Event: What Products Could Launch?
A lot of tech is still on the table, but all eyes will be on the AirPower wireless charging mat that was announced in 2017. Apple touted its ability to charge up to three devices at once, but it has faced overheating issues that have kept it from coming to market. But there was a glimmer of hope in the iPhone XS Max’s manual.
The booklet mentioned the heralded wireless charger when it described the handset’s Qi-charing features. This could suggest the company is still planning to release pad the pad this year.
More likely, a flurry of rumors have an forthcoming upgraded iPad Pro that incorporates FaceID, improves its bezels, and adds a mysterious new port. Developers also found hints in the iOS 12.1 software update suggesting there will be a new iPad with facial recognition, which could be the precursor to a big tablet launch.
Finally, rumbles of a budget MacBook Air that could be priced less than $999 make the rounds ahead of the latest iPhone event. Apple recently refreshed its MacBook Pros, but haven’t said anything about the Air line since 2017. The company has made it a habit of announcing an upgrade to one of its laptops when it does host a launch in October. The MacBook Air is the perfect candidate.