The next generations of iPad and iPad mini will be unveiled by Apple on 22 October according to reports, which tie-in neatly with the company's schedule from last year. The question is, can Apple generate even a smidgeon in interest from a tablet market where hype is now pretty much hard to come by. More likely to generate interest is OS X Mavericks if Apple can do something radical in the notebook market.
Up or Down the Slippery Slope?
For Amazon, which started off with a budget tablet and is now scaling up with the Kindle Fire HDX, hype is easy to generate with bigger specs, a sexy screen and so on. Apple on the other hand has started high and is now trying to look cool when aiming lower. That's a hard trick to pull off, with expectations of cost from some that will never be met and a specifications race that is heading back up the slope.
On the heels of the less-than-thrilling iPhone event, we're also wondering if Apple has any real magic left in the bag? The iPad 5 is likely to align with the A7X processor of the recently launched iPhone 5S, while the new iPad mini had better pack a retina display, or expect howls of disappointment. Both should come with iOS 7.1 which will likely add tablet-specific features.
If the event date is accurate, the iPad 4 and mini went onsale on 2 November last year, so expect the new models to hit the shelves on 1 November this year. The new iPads will be slightly restyled to align with the new iPhones, for that family photo opportunity, but don't expect a great deal of great physical change. Samsung may be bring out curved-glass phones soon, but Apple is unlikely to be ahead of that curve, given photos of the cases that have been doing the rounds.
Taking Notes in the Notebook Race
Perhaps the new OS X and any new notebook hardware Apple decides to show will generate more interest as further chinks appear in the Windows hegemony. The new Chromebook sparked a great deal of interest yesterday and if Apple has plans for a MacBook mini or similar, it could help boost the company's relatively static OS share.
Apple is expected to launch its rotund new desktop Mac Pro hardware, but that's very much a specialist product. If Apple plans to leverage its massive iOS user base toward OS X computers, perhaps a new line of hardware may be on the cards, but as with the iPhone 5C don't expect budget prices or skimping on design.
One thing Apple, please, no more worshipping the design videos, they were cute the first few times around, but now make you seem like a rather scary cult obsessed with metals and corners. How about a bit more interest in the customer and how we can use it?