It’s that time again; Tim Cook and his minions will be taking the stage to present new Apple products. And, once again, Apple has been taunting us with the cryptic text of their invitation:
It’s been way too long… What does that make you think about? For me, it suggests that Apple is going to unleash a wide range of product updates. There will be new iPads, perhaps a retina iMac (and, if so, hopefully a retina Thunderbolt display), new iPods (why not update the iPod touch, and even, perhaps, the nano), and more. If you think about products that haven’t been updated in a while, you come up with the following:
- The Mac mini: last updated two years ago, the Mac mini is a mainstay of many users’ media systems, it works well as compact server, and it an affordable desktop Mac for people who have a display and don’t want an all-in-one like the iMac.
- The Thunderbolt display: it’s not just that mine is nearly three years old, and just went out to be serviced (it needed a new power supply, as it started emitting fumes; and it’s still under AppleCare), but the Mac Pro needs a companion display. Rumors of the 27″ retina iMac suggest a 5K display, something the Mac Pro could handle with dual-channel video.
- AirPort hardware: standards have evolved, and, while it’s only been a bit more than a year since the last refresh of the AirPort Extreme, the AirPort Express is a year older, and still doesn’t have 802.11 ac.
- The Apple TV: this will clearly be updated soon, as it’s two-and-a-half years old (though there was an interim refresh a year later). I expect it to become a device for home automation, as well as for its current usage as a media player.
- The Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse: it’s been over four years since the Magic Trackpad was released, and five years since the Magic Mouse. Could this be the time to refresh these devices with a Touch ID button?
My guess is that we’ll see a few big items – new iPads, retina displays – and a lot of small items. They might not all get stage time, but I think it would be a good time for Apple to show that they aren’t letting some of their less sexy devices languish.
Oh, and we’ll see more about OS X Yosemite, and iTunes 12, which, I think, will be demoed with some new features that aren’t in the beta that is available to developers. It might be too soon for Apple to unveil a music streaming service – and I’d expect a different type of event for that, one with artist performing – but we may get an inkling of what Apple’s acquisition of Beats is going to bring.
Let’s hope that Apple can get the streaming thing working right tomorrow, so we don’t have to see the TV Truck schedule, or listen to Chinese translations.