By Jim Karpen updated on 10/17/2013
The rumors proved to be correct: Apple sent out press invitations today for an event, Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. As usual, Apple hasn't said what it will announce, only sharing this cryptic message on the invitation: "We still have a lot to cover."
No doubt fanboys will exercise their best exegetical skills on the invitation and find all sorts of clues. But at the very least it indicates there will be multiple announcements. Everyone is expecting a fifth-generation iPad, a new iPad mini, the launch of the new Mac OS, the latest iteration of Mac laptops, and possibly also a launch date for the new Mac Pro. Beyond that, there isn't much evidence Apple will announce anything radically new, such as an iWatch.
It seems pretty certain that the rumored details of the fifth-generation will be borne out, including a new form factor reminiscent of the mini. It will be thinner, lighter, and narrow, with narrower bezels left and right. It will likely come with the new A7 64-bit processor, and will have an upgraded 8-megapixel camera with a larger aperture.
The big question mark has been the iPad mini, with some rumors saying it will come with a retina display, and other rumors saying the model with a retina display will be delayed until next year due to technical problems in production. But the latest rumors are saying that indeed the retina iPad mini will arrive. However, in order to accommodate the greater resolution, the device will be a tiny bit thicker, wider, and heavier. (I don't like the sound of that, and it may be a deal-breaker for me. If I'm going to get a new device, I want it to be thinner and lighter.) There are also rumors Apple will introduce two iPad minis, with the retina mini having the A7 processor and a less-expensive non-retina mini having an A6 processor.
According to a rumor posted on 9To5Mac today, the new iPads will go on sale Oct. 30 or 31. The new laptops will go on sale Oct. 24 or 25. And the new Mac Pro Nov. 15. As 9To5Mac notes, these dates are somewhat questionable. For example, Apple tends launch new iPhones and iPads on a Friday, which would be Nov. 1.
Next Tuesday's event will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific time. On occasion Apple has live-streamed its events. If not, then your next best option is to follow one of the many live blogs of the event. Often these blogs will give you a fairly complete picture of what's going on, including photos, as it happens.