mini 2 blue

According to AllThingsD, the reliable technology blog operated by The Wall Street Journal, Apple will be holding an iPad focused event exactly two weeks from today, on October 22. Now, Apple typically likes to run its big media events on Tuesdays and October 22 is a Tuesday. It’s also six days before Apple’s upcoming fiscal 2013 fourth quarter earnings release so it should be a boon for the stock price.

And as per the obligatory “people familiar with Apple’s plans” (read: Apple’s public relations department), the invitation-only event will focus on new iPads, though new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks should get some stage time as well…

John Paczkowski, writing for AllThingsD:

People familiar with Apple’s plans tell AllThingsD that the company will hold its next invitation-only event on Tuesday October 22. The focal point of the gathering will the latest updates to the company’s iPad line, but new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks will likely get some stage time as well, I’m told.

The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple, who often acts as an unofficial Apple mouthpiece, threw his proverbial ‘yep’ behind Paczkowski’s report.

So much about October 15.

It’s going to be a busy month: October 22 coincides with Nokia’s Innovation Reinvented showcase and comes just a day after the Surface 2 starts shipping. New iPad availability a week later, on November 1, sounds just about right to us.

Sources wouldn’t tell Paczkowski what venue Apple might use for the event.

Last month, the company invited select members of the press to its Town Hall auditorium at the Cupertino, California campus to announce the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

While the author confesses to being unable to confirm a location, “my understanding is that it will not be held at the California Theatre in San Jose” (where Apple unveiled the iPad mini), Paczkowski writes.

Apple September 10 (iPhone keynote, Apple Town Hall banners 001)

He correctly speculates that either Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino (seen above) or the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (below) could serve as the launchpad for new iPads.

At any rate, the rumor-mill has been clamoring for a Retina iPad mini and of course a fifth update to Apple’s full-size 9.7-inch iPad. According to analyst notes, component leaks and crystal ball peering, the iPad 5 could include Apple’s fabled Touch ID fingerprint sensor integrated into the Home button.

2011 iPad keynote (yerba Buena building, Wikipedia 001)

Given the 64-bit A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s, it’s fairly safe to assume the tablet will run an improved version of the silicon, the A7X, containing a snappier CPU and faster graphics capable of driving the high-resolution Retina display.

Other possibilities include the iSight back camera bump to eight megapixels (up from the five-megapixel snapper on the iPad 4) and a dramatically thinner enclosure with iPad mini style design. A leaked Space Gray back shell suggests the iPad 5 could come in a few finishes similar to the iPhone 5s.

The second-generation iPad mini is the biggest mystery due to a bunch of conflicting rumors pointing to either a late-2013 or early-2014 release. Assuming Apple’s suppliers have successfully addressed yield issues plaguing mass manufacture of high-resolution 7.9-inch panels, Apple should also unveil the iPad mini 2 with Retina display come October 22.

mini 2 gold
Gold iPad mini 2 concept by 3D artist Martin Hajek.

Other features being whispered for the iPad mini 2: an eight-megapixel back camera, Touch ID fingerprint sensing and either an A6X or A7X chip. One thing is certain: if these new iPads incorporate Touch ID fingerprint scanning, the A7 (or later) with its Secure Enclave is a must.

As for the software, with OS X Mavericks hitting a Golden Master milestone last week and the bulk of Apple’s software development teams having been tasked with iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 code-named Syrah, it’s perfectly conceivable that the iPhone maker will give us a release date for Mavericks – either at the iPad event on October 22 or during a conference call with investors on October 28.

Haswell-driven MacBook Pro, you say?

If the recent iMac update is anything to go by, Apple could easily refresh the MacBook Pro with a press release and a website update.

Last but not least, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for a probably unlikely Apple TV hardware refresh.

So, who’s getting a new iPad and what are your expectations from this event?