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What's still to come from Apple this fall

Dan Frakes and Dan Moren | Oct. 1, 2013
Apple's had a busy September, but many people are expecting a lot more from the company this fall. Which of those expectations are realistic?

To us, the bigger question is what Mavericks is going to cost. Lion was $30, but Mountain Lion was just $20. Will this year's OS X update drop to $10? Or perhaps even be a free download? Or is $20 the new going rate for a world-class desktop OS? It shouldn't be too long before we find out.

Chances: 10.9 is obviously a sure thing, though never rule out the possibility of a delay until late in the "fall." Remember the delay in Leopard several years ago? And the price? We say $20 or free, and we're still debating with each other.

A new Mac Pro
Another one of the marquee announcements at WWDC, this long-awaited revamp of the company's desktop powerhouse is scheduled to arrive "this fall." Apple has been running ads in movie theaters, so it clearly expects the computer to make its appearance before long—even if a professional-level workstation isn't likely to be this year's hot holiday gift.

Chances: Though little has been heard about the Mac Pro since it was first announced in June, it's probably on track. Another safe bet.

Updated laptops
The MacBook Air got a nice refresh back in June at WWDC, so don't expect another revision to Apple's ultralight laptops before next year rolls around. The MacBook Pro, however, is a different story. The current design debuted at WWDC 2012, and got only a bump in February of this year. So we wouldn't be surprised to see a refresh to the MacBook Pro lineup, especially if the company's finally ready to retire the older non-Retina models. That said, Apple tends to focus on consumer-level product updates at this time of year, so it's possible we'll see nothing at all.

Chances: 50/50.

A new Apple TV model
The current Apple TV receiver debuted way back in March 2012—and even that version simply added 1080p capability to the second-generation model, which debuted three years ago, in September 2010. Of course, both Apple TVs still work very well, and the company has regularly updated them with new software features: The aforementioned Apple TV software 6.0, just released, added iTunes Radio and a number of other features; numerous third-party content partners have also found their way onto the Apple TV home screen over the past couple years (including two late this week).

Still, with the Apple TV's biggest competitors adding features and lowering prices, and the iOS and iTunes Store ecosystems evolving rapidly, an update to the Apple TV's hardware seems a near-inevitability. A faster processor and some additional onboard memory would significantly enhance the Apple TV's potential, and a software update might (finally) offer the option of third-party apps. (Heck, even just a more-capable remote would be nice.) Or maybe the next Apple TV will turn out to be something completely different?

 

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