Apple has a surprise event lined up for October 30, the night before Halloween, titled “Scary Fast.” This intriguing event suggests that Apple is gearing up to unveil some high-speed new hardware. What makes it particularly unusual is that the event is scheduled for the evening, kicking off at 8 PM ET.
While this year has already witnessed the release of new iPhones and Apple Watches, Apple has several other product categories it could focus on during this event. The most anticipated announcements are possibly related to Macs and a fresh series of chipsets to power them.
Apple’s discussion of speed enhancements is likely to involve the introduction of new hardware. It has been around 17 months since the introduction of Apple’s M2 system on a chip (SoC). Given the typical annual cadence for chipset updates, it’s quite possible that Apple is ready to move on to the next generation. Merging two M2 Max chips together isn’t quite the same. For reference, the M2 series was unveiled 19 months after the M1. Therefore, if Apple unveils the M3 at the Scary Fast event, it would align with a similar timeline.
Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has hinted at a “M3 series MacBook Pro” as the highlight of the event, suggesting that the company has more than one new SoC to unveil. This raises the possibility of seeing an M3 Pro and perhaps even an M3 Max showcased during the Scary Fast presentation.
The Scary Fast event may also mark the debut of a new 24-inch iMac. Mark Gurman from Bloomberg has reported the impending arrival of a fresh model this month, citing the limited availability of the current iMac in Apple retail stores as an indicator of an imminent upgrade.
The 24-inch iMac has long been due for an update, with ongoing speculations about an M3 variant in development. The most recent model was powered by the M1 chip and was introduced in April 2021. Transitioning to the M3, provided it offers enhanced capabilities compared to the M2 series, may present a compelling reason for users to consider upgrading to the new iMac model.
There’s a strong likelihood that Apple will unveil a MacBook Pro refresh at the event. Both Kuo and Gurman have indicated this possibility.
Gurman highlighted that the 13-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch MacBook Pro models all currently have extended shipping times on Apple’s web store, often a sign that the company is phasing out existing products. Additionally, Gurman reported that Apple has been testing M3 Max and M3 Pro MacBook Pro models, which could now be ready for the spotlight.
However, Kuo’s expectations for Apple’s MacBook Pro inventory this year aren’t exceedingly high. He initially didn’t foresee Apple releasing M3-powered laptops before year-end due to limited supply, estimated at 400,000 to 500,000 units. Unless demand decreases, Kuo anticipates that supply may remain constrained until early 2024.
MacBook sales have been sluggish this year, primarily due to the modest M2 performance upgrade, as Kuo mentioned. This could explain why Apple is willing to introduce M3-powered MacBook Pros, even with limited supply. Announcing new models just before reporting quarterly earnings could instill investor confidence in the company, especially in light of recent price increases for Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple News+.
However, if M3-powered models fail to boost sales, Kuo suggests that a MacBook Pro with a fresh design might arrive in 2025. Additionally, Apple may consider bolstering the lineup with a more budget-friendly MacBook, targeting annual sales of 8 to 10 million units.
Our intuition suggests that an iPad may make an appearance at Apple’s event. Given the anticipated focus on M3-powered devices, it’s likely that any new iPad will belong to the Pro lineup and feature one of these chips.
It’s worth noting that only a year has passed since the latest iPad Pro was introduced. Apart from a few minor adjustments, Apple primarily replaced the M1 with the M2. To provide substantial appeal to those who recently acquired the previous two models, the next iPad Pro may require more significant updates, possibly necessitating more development time. In such a scenario, Apple might opt for a spec upgrade for the current iPad Pro.
Furthermore, the event may see updates to other iPad models, just in time for the holiday season. You won’t have to wait long to discover the details, as we’ll provide comprehensive coverage of the Scary Fast event at Engadget. While waiting for Halloween trick-or-treaters, put on your pajamas, grab a cup of cocoa, and join us on Monday evening.