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What's still to come from Apple this fall

Dan Frakes and Dan Moren | Oct. 1, 2013
Apple's had a busy September, but many people are expecting a lot more from the company this fall. Which of those expectations are realistic?

As for performance and power, we suspect that, as with the current iPad lineup, a new iPad mini will use the processor found in the previous year's full-size iPad. That would mean an iPad mini with Apple's A6X, a processor that currently handles a 9.7-inch Retina display with aplomb. (But it's not out of the question for Apple to use a version of the A7 processor found in the iPhone 5s, which could probably handle driving an iPad-size Retina display.) The other wild card here: Might the new iPad mini feature a plastic case inspired by the iPhone 5c?

Chances: A new iPad mini seems a sure thing, as does a Space Gray option, but we put the odds of a Retina display at 60/40 (in favor). As for a plastic case, we doubt Apple would want to draw even more comparisons to Google's less expensive and plastic-bodied Nexus 7 tablet.

Updated iPods
If you'd asked us a few weeks ago whether we expected new iPod models this fall, we wouldn't have hesitated to pronounce it a done deal. After all, it's a rare September or October that doesn't see at least one new iPod, if not updates to all three of the main iPod models: touch, nano, and shuffle. But then Apple quietly added new a new Space Gray color to each of those models earlier this month. It seems unlikely that Apple would make such a cosmetic change and then turn around and announce entirely new models a month later.

However, what if Apple were to announce that the iPod touch is (finally) available in a 128GB version? We've long (on multiple occasions) predicted that the iPod classic will go the way of the dodo once a 128GB iPod touch is available. Maybe this is the year? We're keeping our fingers crossed, though we also doubt Apple would give the iPod touch more storage than the company's flagship iPhone.

Then again, Apple could really surprise us by updating the iPod classic. I mean, what music packrat wouldn't like a 250GB Space Gray iPod classic with a Multi-Touch display and ...oh, who are we kidding?

Chances: We rate the likelihood of more updates to the iPod line at a slim 20 percent, with much of that probability resting on a larger-capacity iPod touch. The chances of a new iPod classic? Next to nil.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks
Apple has said that Mavericks (OS X 10.9) is due this fall, and we have no reason to doubt it, despite rumors that iOS 7's development has been the Paul paid by robbing OS X's Peter. Indeed, reports from developers indicate that the beta versions of Mavericks are moving along nicely. As with iOS 7, don't expect much to change since 10.9's announcement at June's Worldwide Developers Conference, though Apple could, as always, be holding something in reserve.


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