On Tuesday, Apple sent out invitations to an Oct. 22 press event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco. The invitations are short on specifics: As Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch notes, the only text on the invite is the phrase "we still have a lot to cover." That could be a nod to the array of products Apple is almost certain to unveil – new iPads and MacBooks among them – or it could be a hint about some kind of next-gen iPad cover.
Either way, new devices are forthcoming. But what can we expect out of the next iPad? Well, for one thing, look for a thinner casing, a slimmer build, and what 9 to 5 Mac calls "a smaller overall footprint." Meanwhile, there is a fair deal of chatter around the possibility that Apple might introduce some new iPad colors, including gold, as it did with the recently-released iPhone 5S.
Also interesting: A purportedly leaked photo (admittedly blurry and of uncertain provenance) that appears to show a new iPad with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner button. Which would make sense: Apple's already got the tech in place, courtesy of the iPhone 5S.
Perhaps the biggest question involves a new iPad Mini. Many onlookers have been expecting Apple to unveil an iPad Mini with the same high-resolution Retina Display as the flagship iPad (perhaps at the expense of a slightly chunkier shell). But newer reports from Reuters and other outlets suggest that the next Mini may be delayed until 2014, due to supply chain issues with the Retina Display.
"If they don't put in retina ... there will be howls," Forrester analyst Frank Gillett told Reuters.