‘October Surprise‘ has always been an election year concern whereby presidential candidates hope that when something that could damage a politician’s campaign only happens to the other guy. 2016 is different, of course, because we’ve had near daily surprises every day that we’re numb to anything serious.
Apple’s Mac customers have been waiting for new Macs for so long that when an October Surprise finally shows up we’re not likely to be surprised because Apple aging headquarters at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino seems to have sprung some leaks in recent years. ‘One more thing…‘ might be gone from Apple’s lexicon, but so is the ability to surprise customers with any regularity.
So, without further adieu, here’s the October Surprise* you Mac customers have been waiting for (*no actual surprise included).
Apple’s Mac line is as old as I can recall new Macs ever– some Macs haven’t been upgraded in years, and others have never been upgraded since introduction years ago. Having done a good Windex job on my crystal ball, and having poured through all the rumor sites, heres’ what I’ve come up with.
Apple will launch an Autumn Surprise (which means unless the company wants something to happen in October, it needs to let people know soon, and the U.S. presidential election and debate and daily surprises seem to be grabbing the headlines; I’m surprised anyone knows about the iPhone 7).
MacBook Pro – yesterday I stopped by an Apple Store and saw a MacBook Pro without a Retina display but with a SuperDrive, and an actual hard disk drive inside; a device that was introduced and mostly unchanged since 2012. Why? People buy it. The new MacBook Pro models will be thinner, lighter, and faster, in both 13-inch and 15-inch models, but say goodbye to the standard USB port, HDMI port, the SD card slot, MagSafe connector, all being replaced by multiple USB-C connectors. The surprise will be some kind of OLED touch display below the screen where the function keys live now. Oh, and Touch ID will be built in.
MacBook Air – amazingly, this aging device remains one of Apple’s big sellers, so, as with the aforementioned but outdated MacBook Pro that debuted years ago, the Mac maker keeps it around, but don’t expect much of a surprise. It might get USB-C ports and newer Intel Inside, but don’t expect a Retina display because what’s the point with a MacBook with Retina display sitting on a different table nearby at every Apple Store.
iMac – expect a refresh of the CPU but if not, don’t fret or worry because Intel Inside isn’t all the much faster this year than last year. I wonder if new iMacs will come with USB-C instead of the standard USB ports? I would expect them to keep Thunderbolt. The Apple-adopted Intel Thunderbolt technology is Apple’s 21st century FireWire.
Mac mini – only Apple knows how many of these sell but I know plenty of people who have one; if anything expect a speed bump with new Intel Inside, USB-C ports and nothing else. Or, just expect nothing. That helps to reduce the tension of waiting for Apple to care about the Mac.
Mac Pro – if there’s a real surprise this fall, the Mac Pro could be it. Either Apple will drop the device altogether and admit defeat at the high end, or do something very special. My emotion is on the latter, but my money is on the former.
There’s always a thin chance that Apple might introduce some kind of cool MacPad with a touch screen and an option to run iOS apps, too, but that’s acknowledging Microsoft’s touchscreen devices and Google’s Chromebooks exist, so don’t hold your breath.