Oh, we dedicated Apple users definitely love Apple events, don’t we? And after a torturous 92 days after the last Apple event (WWDC 2022), we finally get another, the “Far Out” event on Tuesday, where we get the iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8 and possibly new AirPods Pro.
But Apple often has two events in the second half of the year. Assuming there’s a second event — and it looks like there’s going to be one this year — it’s mostly Mac-focused and takes place in October or early November. In the past, this event highlights updates to Mac models that are very popular with holiday shoppers.
I’m always interested in Apple releases and I’m looking forward to the iPhone event like everyone else. But this year’s iPhone event looks set to be a yawn compared to what could happen later this fall at the Mac event. However, the possibilities for this season’s Mac releases are more intriguing than usual, making this second event much more appealing than the “Far Out” event.
iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8: Big Deal
Apparently, Apple’s theme this fall is “bigger is better”. The big news (pun intended) about the iPhone range that will get people talking is the new, larger non-pro phone, the discontinuation of the mini model, and the lack of a phone with a screen size of less than 6, 1 inch. Then there’s the new rugged Apple Watch model and its XXL design. While a larger case offers more freedom to implement features, there’s nothing groundbreaking about making a larger model.
The redesigned front notch could be innovative if it leads to something new with the front camera, Face ID and display, but in this case it’s just a redesign. We’ll see a slightly larger screen due to a decrease in bezels, but it’s so small you won’t notice. An always-on display will be nice, but extremely late. And Apple will likely unveil new color options for the iPhone — those are great, beautiful new colors that most people will cover with a case.
The real innovation for the iPhone – the 48MP rear camera – will probably only be available on the Pro models, which will include another exclusive part, the A16 processor. The camera and to a lesser extent the A16 are the only things to get excited about at this event.
The innovation showcase is on the Mac
That second fall Apple event is going to be a doozy, though, as we may be in for some earth-shattering Mac announcements.
The first is the introduction of the new Mac Pro. It’s one of two Macs left in Apple’s lineup that still uses Intel processors, and Apple teased it at its “Peek Performance” event in March. Here’s a chance to see what Apple can do when it’s tasked with building a computer built for the most demanding user. What kind of processing muscle will it bend? How creative will the case design be? What surprises are in store? Sure, the Mac Pro is a computer most of us can’t afford, but it’s one that everyone, Mac and PC users alike, has been anticipating for over two years.
The Mac Pro alone makes this second event more appealing than “Far Out,” but that’s not all Apple has in store. There is also the replacement for the current $1,099 Intel-based Mac mini. Rumor has it that this new Mac mini may have a new design, as well as a new M2 Pro chip. Apple could also upgrade the current M1 Mac mini to the M2, a chip that made its debut in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro last spring. There are also rumors that we could see minor upgrades to the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, so Apple has a lot on tap.
When Apple began the transition to the M Series, it gave new life to the Mac. This event will complete the rollout and provide a roadmap for what to expect in the future. That’s exciting, especially when you compare that to the already mature iPhone range. With the Mac, chip gains are greater, innovations are stronger, and the future is brighter.
The one thing that could change everything
There’s one thing Apple could do at its “Far Out” event to make it the most exciting event this year, and it’s not new AirPods: it’s the unveiling of the long-rumored AR/VR headset. There are rumors that “Far Out” could have a “One more thing” moment that Apple is known for, and an AR/VR headset would fit that role and the theme of the event perfectly.
However, I don’t think that will happen. Such a reveal would overshadow the iPhone 14, and I don’t think Apple wants to do that. But it would fit well into Apple’s second fall event. As cool as the Mac Pro reveal will be, it’s a Mac that not everyone can afford, which could dampen the buzz among the general consumer. And the Mac mini, is still good, just a Mac mini. An AR/VR headset unveiled, even if it’s just an example, would get everyone talking without overshadowing the Mac Pro — a machine that’s pretty much perfect for AR/VR development.
If a headset comes out, it will undoubtedly be the event of the year. But even without Apple Reality, Apple’s second event this year will be the event to watch even if you’re planning to buy a new iPhone.