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Apple October event 2022 expectations: New Macs, iPads, and more

Apple just had its blow-out iPhone event in September, where it launched the new iPhone 14 lineup, the second-gen AirPods Pro, the Apple Watch Ultra, and more.

But Apple is far from done for the year. One last product launch is rumored for 2022, and we’ll see the emphasis shift to more powerful devices such as Macs and iPads. Here’s everything we’re expecting from this rumored event so far.

When will it be?

Tim Cook Apple Event 2021
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Last year’s late fall event took place on Tuesday, October 18. The previous year it was October 13, and in 2019, it was on October 18. In other words, Apple pretty consistently holds an event right in the middle of October.

That means the most likely dates for the October event this year would be October 18 or October 25. Because the iPhone event this year was held a bit earlier than normal, that may mean October 4 or 11 are on the table as well.

These events tend to start at 10 a.m. P.T. and are livestreamed at and on YouTube.

There is another possibility, though: that Apple won’t hold an event at all. Reporter Mark Gurman has suggested the updates slated for the show — MacBooks and Mac Minis with new chips, and iPad Pro tablets with the M2 — might not be significant enough to justify a full-on event. Instead, we could see these products launch via press releases on Apple’s website, something the company has done before with devices like the AirPods Max and 24-inch iMac. We’ll have to wait and see whether Gurman is correct.

iPad Pro with M2

ipad pro 2021

Apple already started the M2 train back at WWDC with the announcement of the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch and MacBook Air. Seeing that chip move to the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro is a no-brainer. This update has been rumored since the beginning of 2022, and feels like the most likely product to make an appearance.

Both iPad Pros are also rumored to get a MagSafe 3 charging port, much like the newer MacBooks. While both iPad Pros will be getting a spec bump, the 11-inch iPad Pro is also rumored to not get the mini-LED display.

Mac Pro with M2 Extreme

Mac Pro cheese grater design.
Simon Hrozian/Unsplash

We’ve been promised an update to the Mac Pro by the end of 2022. In order to complete the Mac’s two-year transition to Apple Silicon, Apple needs to deliver an updated Mac Pro that ditches Intel and AMD. Apple even mentioned the product by name at an event earlier this year, saying it would be talked about at a future event.

This Mac Pro is expected to use some kind of advanced configuration of the M2 chip, possibly called the M2 Extreme. It’s been proposed that a chip like this would have to stitch two M2 Ultra chips together, but we’ll have to wait and see.

There’s a possibility Apple could also release an updated Pro Display XDR alongside a new Mac Pro, though most reports have been pointing to a 2023 time window for that.

MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max

The new MacBook Pro seen from the side.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The redesigned MacBook Pro — both the 14-inch and 16-inch models — was announced at Apple’s October event last year. And if the rumors prove to be true, Apple is planning an update for these machines, which are the most powerful in the MacBook lineup.

A MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro and M2 Max are expected to make an appearance here, showing what Apple really can do with these new chips, especially on the graphics front. But aside from the bump in performance, don’t expect any significant changes to the design.

iPad (10th-gen)

The iPad 10.2 on a table.
Digital Trends

The iPad, now its 9th generation, has been the odd duck in the lineup. Unlike every other current iPad, it hasn’t been moved to the M1 yet, and it even still has a Home button. According to the rumors, it’s getting an update with a slightly bigger screen (and probably thinner bezels). The 10th-gen iPad is also supposed to transition from the Thunderbolt port to USB-C.

Will it also get bumped to an M1 or M2? The M2 would be odd since the more expensive iPad Air is still using the M1, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Mac mini with M2

The 2020 Mac Mini, powered by Apple's M1 chip, on a wooden surface.
Alex Blake/Digital Trends

The Mac mini was strangely left out of the initial release of the M2. This was a bit surprising since the original M1 Mac mini launched alongside the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch in 2020.

With the Mac Studio out, filling the gap in the lineup for a more powerful version of the Mac mini, it would make a lot of sense for Apple to rollout the M2 to the Mac mini. We don’t expect there to be any major changes otherwise, but if this October event really ends up being all about the M2, a bump up from the M1 for the Mac mini feels likely.

Apple Reality headset

A render of Apple's VR headset.
Ian Zelbo

With all the Macs and iPads to get through, it seems unlikely that we’ll get any big surprises from the event. But considering how marginal each of those generational updates are, there could be room for a preview of something brand new. If so, the Apple Reality headset could finally make an appearance.

An event like WWDC 2023 would make more sense for such an announcement, especially since Apple really needs to get developers on board to make the product a success. But rumor has it that the Apple Reality headset is getting close to being ready to show off, and the timing following the Meta Quest Pro announcement on October 11 would make for quite the comparison.

Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
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