10 Biggest Announcements Partners Expect From Apple's Oct. 16 Event

What Will They Come Up With Next?

Fresh off their big iPhone 6 event on Sept. 9, Apple has invited select members of the media to another event slated to take place Oct. 16.

The event is being held at the Town Hall auditorium inside Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters campus at 1 p.m. EST.

At its event in September, Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which have sold at record numbers. The company also previewed more features on iOS 8 and unveiled Apple Pay, the company's new mobile payments platform. It also previewed the highly anticipated Apple Watch, which will launch early next year.

So how do you follow up the iPhone 6? Here's what industry watchers expect.

New iPad Air

Partners and tech analysts believe the newest tablet will be a "rev up" from the previous model and will draw some similarities to the iPhone 6.

The most notable change is the addition of Touch ID, while the new iPad Air is also expected to be 7mm thick (about the same as the new iPhone 6 models). The screen size of 9.7 inches is expected to stay the same, although the resolution may get a boost and could possibly get Apple's Retina display.

Like the iPhone 6, the iPad Air is expected to run on the powerful A8 chip, have 2GB of RAM and could get a boost in internal storage. No word on the boost in battery life, but that is likely in the cards. Like the new iPhones, there should be multiple casing options, including gold.

New iPad Mini

The new iPad Mini is also expected to feature Touch ID and be thinner than before. It is likely to feature the A8 chip as well and get a boost in battery life.

The Mini's 7.9-inch retina display size is expected to stay the same despite speculation the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus will cannibalize the iPad Mini line. As noted in Apple's second-quarter earnings report, phablet phones are already cutting into the iPad Mini's market share, so Apple would be happy a phablet of its own is gaining traction rather than someone else's.


Some partners have noted that the stock of current iMacs on the market are not being replenished by Apple, leading resellers to believe the new line of iMacs are coming down the pike.

The new iMacs are expected to feature super-high resolution and Apple's Retina display. This will be ideal for graphic designers, web developers and film editors among others.

The screen size and frame of the new iMac line is expected to stay the same, as the specs of the devices are just being modernized. We'll more than likely see a faster processor in addition to better internal storage.

OS X Yosemite Release

What will really be different on the new iMacs is the operating system. Apple has already previewed and demoed OS X Yosemite at its last two events -- WWDC in June and the iPhone 6 launch in September -- and we it's expected that Yosemite will be released along with the Retina iMacs.

While some partners and tech analysts believe iPads with Touch ID is the guest of honor at this event, others say OS X Yosemite is the most exciting product launch.

The new Mac operating system is promised to offer a whole slew of new features that bring OS X and iOS closer together than ever before. More on that in the next slide.

Continuity & Handoff

Continuity and Handoff are two features that have been highly publicized since first being demoed by Apple in early June.

Continuity sends all text messages, phone calls and push notifications on your mobile devices running iOS 8 to your Mac running OS X Yosemite. Users can respond to texts, take phone calls or receive reminder alerts on a Mac from the iPhone, even if it's in another room.

Handoff allows users to continue where they left off on documents on their Mac in real time. Working on a Word document on your iMac but need to get going? Seamlessly "hand it off" to your iPad running iOS 8 and continue right where you left off without closing the document.

Both Continuity and Handoff work with all Apple apps and third-party apps.

MacBook Air

A new MacBook Air is considered as more of a longshot to be announced at this event, but it could be shown off and released at a later date, possibly early 2015.

It is expected that a 12-inch Retina display MacBook Air is in the works. Much like the new iMacs that are expected to launch at this event, a new MacBook Air would feature a faster processor and an uptick in internal storage. Like the new iPhones and the iPads we'll likely see on Thursday, the new MacBook Air will feature better battery life, while maintaining the same thin frame it currently has.

Of course, the MacBook Air will also run on OS X Yosemite.

Apple Pay

Although it is not known for sure, Apple partners and tech analysts agree it would make all the sense in the world for Apple to launch its highly publicized mobile payments platform at this event.

When it was first demoed at the iPhone 6 launch, the company said Apple Pay would be available in October. October is here and this is an Apple event that lands smack-dab in the middle of the month. With such a big platform like this being launched by Apple, it is expected that the company would use an event like this to release the product. With no other events expected or scheduled this month, this would be the one where Apple Pay is launched.

More on the next slide.

Touch ID

Touch ID is something that has mobile security experts excited and hoping that it eventually hits all Apple products sooner rather than later. However, some Apple partners wonder if the biometrics feature will be on all devices, including OS X products, for other reasons.

Apple Pay works with Touch ID as a mobile payment platform to verify that the user of the device is authorized to make a payment, but Apple Pay can also be used on e-commerce websites to confirm purchases and financial information.

Apple Partners and financial analysts fully expect Touch ID to be on iPads on Thursday, but they also speculate that Touch ID on iMac and MacBook keyboards would go a long way in expanding the platform. Imagine shopping online and never having to fill out your username, password, credit card number or billing address ever again.

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini does still exist, although Apple has not updated the product in two years.

The Mac Mini is Apple's most affordable desktop computer option. Apple is way overdue on this product's recycle, having not released a new one since October 2012. Could we see a new one at the upcoming event? We'll see.

Obvious upgrades to an OS X computer would be an even thinner or smaller frame. It could also be made lighter and boast a more powerful processor and more storage space. We'll see if the Mac Mini makes an appearance on Thursday.

Apple TV

Apple partners call Apple TV a "hobby" of Apple's because there is not much marketing behind the product.

Partners say that despite it boasting an impressive user interface and an immense ecosystem, Apple doesn't make as much of a profit off of the $99 platform as it does with its other products.

Tech analysts say Apple TV could make some inroads in the gaming world as it currently doesn’t offer much for that market. Like the Mac Mini, it's been quite a while since we've seen an update to Apple TV -- the last one came in March 2012.

Apple CEO Tim Cook may have hinted at an update to the product during an interview on PBS's Charlie Rose.

"I don't want to get into what we're doing in the future," Cook said in the interview. "We've taken stabs with Apple TV, and Apple TV now has over 20 million users…."