It’s Official: Apple Announces October 30 ‘Scary Fast’ Event

Apple Event Oct 30 2023 Scary Fast 1
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Following an eleventh-hour rumor that Apple is preparing a Mac event for the end of October, the company has just made it official by sending out media invites for the press invite, which it’s dubbing “Scary fast.”

The tagline is undoubtedly a play on the timing of the event — the day before Halloween — combined with the likelihood that Apple will debut its next-generation Macs with even faster M3 Apple silicon chips.

Carrying that motif a step further, Apple is also breaking new ground by scheduling this as a nighttime event for the first time; unlike other Apple events, which typically kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (PT), Scary fast is being held at 5 p.m. PT, which sets it at 8 p.m. for those on the East Coast.

This fall event also goes back to the purely virtual format of Apple’s early pandemic showcases, when social distancing rules eliminated the possibility of in-person attendance. While Apple has never fully returned to the on-stage events of yesteryear, it more recently began opening up some of its more significant events to select members of the press and even developers in the case of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

In-person attendees at those events still saw the same prerecorded virtual event as everyone online, but they were able to watch together on a big screen at Apple Park, and members of the press were given hands-on demos of some of the new products Apple announced, including the iPhone 15 lineup in September, and the Vision Pro headset in June.

Wonderlust Tim Cook 6

However, if the rumors we’ve heard of new Macs are accurate, there probably won’t be much to see that’s all that new. None of Apple’s Macs are due for significant redesigns, so regardless of what comes next week — whether that’s a new 24-inch iMac or a more powerful 16-inch MacBook Pro — the changes will likely be purely on the inside. If so, there’s less reason for Apple to provide hands-on time for members of the press.

As with Apple’s past events, Scary fast will be live-streamed on all the usual platforms, including Apple’s events page, where the placeholder has already appeared with a link to add the event to your calendar, and on Apple’s YouTube channel where you can also sign up to be notified when it’s about to start. The event will also be streamed through Apple’s TV app on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and supported smart TVs and game consoles, although the link for this typically appears closer to the time of the actual event.

What to Expect at ‘Scary Fast’

As is usually the case with Apple events, the company hasn’t offered any significant clues on what to expect other than the tagline and the Apple logo. However, it’s hidden a more obvious easter egg this time, as the black metallic logo on its invite page animates into the logo for the Mac Finder app.

That confirms that the event will be focused on Macs, but it’s also not a big reveal since nobody truly expected otherwise. Just like you can mark your calendar for the arrival of new iPhones every September, Apple’s October events are nearly always Mac-focused, with the occasional iPad thrown in for good measure.

However, while there’s some room for Apple to surprise us, we’re not expecting any major iPad announcements this year, unlike Apple’s last end-of-October event, held on Oct 30, 2018, where it unveiled the significantly redesigned 11-inch and 12-inch iPad Pro models with Face ID alongside the second-generation Apple Pencil.

While it’s possible Apple could introduce an 11th-generation standard iPad, perhaps allowing it to phase out the last of its Lightning and Home button-equipped models, the quiet debut of a USB-C Apple Pencil earlier this month seems to rule that out by suggesting that’s all Apple has to say about the iPad for 2023. Mark Gurman’s sources also tell him that new iPads aren’t planned until early next year, likely around March.

M3 chip graphic

Ultimately, next week’s event is expected to be all about the Mac, but nobody is quite sure exactly what’s coming. With a tagline like “Scary fast,” it’s a safe bet that whatever it is will incorporate the latest M3 Apple silicon, countering dubious rumors that Apple may have only been planning to squeeze out a new M2-powered iMac.

However, while an M3 iMac is due for an appearance, that alone doesn’t seem to justify the phrase “Scary fast,” nor would it be enough to hold an Apple event. The more powerful “iMac Pro” that’s been rumored for a while is still reportedly a year away — a timeline that Gurman recently reconfirmed — so the most likely candidate would be a new set of high-end MacBook Pro models powered by Apple’s M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.

It would be an unusual move, considering that Apple only refreshed those in January with the M2 Pro/Max combo, but if the M3 Max is ready — and there’s evidence that it is — then it makes sense for Apple to roll out its more powerful MacBooks as soon as it can.

These aren’t necessarily holiday season products, as the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro aren’t the sort of devices that typically show up under the tree. However, in addition to an M3 24-inch iMac, which certainly would qualify, Apple may also be completing the MacBook Pro set with an M3 version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

That one is more of a wildcard — and has been since it was introduced three years ago. It’s more on par with the MacBook Air in performance, featuring the same baseline M-series chip while adding a fan for handling sustained workloads, yet it carries the “Pro” moniker and retains its original design, including the love-it-or-hate-it Touch Bar. Its June 2022 M2 refresh was almost a non-event, and unless Apple has something new up its sleeve, the M3 version will likely be more of the same.

So far, the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air have stayed slightly ahead of the higher-end models, as the M1 and M2 chips arrived several months before their Pro/Max counterparts came along. However, there’s a good chance that Apple is done with that phased approach and may be preparing to roll out its entire M3 silicon lineup in one fell swoop, possibly even updating the Mac mini and MacBook Air. That last one is less likely from everything we’ve heard, but it’s not entirely out of the question.

Either way, with Apple holding a full event, it’s a safe bet that it will be an exciting time for Mac updates, with multiple new M3-equipped Macs, at least some of which will be higher-profile updates. Mark your calendars!

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