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Summary:

Apple will hold a press event Oct. 20 unveiling Mac updates. The event is called “Back to the Mac,” which is an acknowledgement that Apple’s focus has seemed to be elsewhere of late. But the teaser image reveals we could see more than just new hardware.

backtothemac

Apple will do what they often do this time of year, and that’s hold a press event unveiling Mac updates. The event is called “Back to the Mac,” which is an acknowledgement that Apple’s focus has seemed to be elsewhere of late (iOS, in case you hadn’t noticed). But the teaser image reveals we could see more than just new hardware.

The official invite sports what’s clearly the image of a lion peeking out from behind an Apple logo-shaped cutout. Does that mean we’ll be seeing a new iteration of OS X, major point upgrades of which are codenamed after big cats? In short, yes. Apple will probably announce OS X 10.7, possibly codenamed “Lion” at this event. It’s hard to interpret that photo in any other way.

Mac OS X Leopard was officially announced on Oct. 16 2007, and released for sale only 10 days later. Snow Leopard was announced well before its actual release, but that was a unique case since it was basically an upgrade pack for Leopard. So, if 10.7 is on the way, we could see it hitting shelves on or shortly after Oct. 20, in time for holiday shoppers.

Also likely on the agenda at the event are new MacBooks, including the MacBook Air, which is long due for an upgrade. Rumors surrounding that piece of hardware include a new, smaller 11.6-inch screen and redesigned case to accomodate a newer style click-button trackpad.

More software updates will also probably be announced, including iLife ’11, and possibly an update to Apple’s desktop productivity software, iWork, as well. This might be a good place for Apple to reveal iWork for iPhone, too.

What are your predictions? Are you likely to upgrade if Apple announces a new OS, or are you happy with Snow Leopard for the time being?

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

  1. I hope that any new MacBook Pro line will continue to support the anti-glare (matte) screen. The current 15″ MacBook Pro is available with a matte screen only with a high-rez display. On behalf of all of us with aging eyes, perhaps including Steve Jobs himself, I hope that they will again offer an anti-glare option with the standard display.

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  2. I’m happy with snow leopard. but I was also happy for my leopard, my iphone 3G and 3GS.
    What I’m trying to say is that even though I’m happy with what I’ve got I will probably upgrade to “Lion” if the price will be as cheap as the upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard. Usually I upgrade my Apple gear when new and better ones hits the shelves. (Not my macbook though, that is the expensive part of my Apple “fanboy’ism”)

    But I’m looking forward to see what Apple comes up with. And I’m not sure that iWork for iphone is that much of a good idea

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  3. Now that I have started building a Hackintosh they will be announcing the mid-level Macintosh I have been wishing for these past few years. Specs similar to the iMac but with some user upgradability options and no built-in monitor.

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    1. They’ve had the Mac Mini for awhile now.

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      1. Limited mod capabilities on the mac mini. I have wished for a mini pro for some time…

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  4. 10.7 is not going to be released this year. Apple would never release a new OS without letting developers test on it first. When 10.6 was “announced” it had already been in developer hands for 6 months.

    My guess is Apple announces the new OS and shows off features, but doesn’t commit to a release date beyond something generic (“Spring 2011″) and that developers start getting test builds shortly after next week’s press conference.

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    1. Totally agreed – actually, I would not be surprised if we would not see 10.7 until the Fall of 2011. Didn’t it take Snow Leopard around the same time from Macworld’09 until release in the very late Fall?

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  5. I’d like to see an iPhone-style Finder as an option in Tiger when it comes out next Fall. So many people use the desktop as their documents folder, and there is no easy way to organize all the files and aliases. And those nice web clip icons that iOS has; it would be nice if Tiger supported that feature, too.

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  6. Does this mean you will have to shout “Eye of Thundera, Give Me Sight Beyond Sight!” to boot up 10.7?

    I hope so.

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  7. Hoping to see new ilife and iwork versions for desktop machines.

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  8. Alejandro Perez Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    1) They will talk numbers in sales about iMac, Macbook, and MBP. And announce new models for most probably the portables, since apple has mostly shown interest of portability. My guess is faster processors, more battery life, pobablly some kind of retina display? and my dream would be a Blu-ray-recording system on high-end.

    And just one more thing… Specs of a new OSX version, there have been job advertising to join a team to create a new OS and revolutionize the industry. But will now launch until a further date. Invite some developers who had secretly been using this build to create software and wow the audiences. this is my humble opinion.

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  9. I honestly hope “Lion” is codename for iOS desktop. Imagine windows of iPad apps, with the power of desktop hardware i.e. a larger tablet form factor primarily for desktop computing, but also for small group presentations. I may be alone in this, but I don’t think I am.. Physical tactile feedback of typing can never be replaced, but the mouse has got to go!! Touch is the future! Truthfully though, despite my hopes, this is probably a boring mouse-driven Mac OS update and Apple will probably need more time to prepare a fully awesome touch-based desktop variant of iOS. What I don’t hope to see them do is go further into the mouse world by going 3D. The invite suggests lion but also has a 3D effect not found in other invites. I hope it’s just coincidence and not suggestive of 3D beyond the pretty dock :) but then again, could 3D work with touch?… I’m rambling now.. Lol anyways, I’m supper excited for next Wednesday!!!

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  10. iLife and iWork for their whole line up except Apple TV. A preview of 10.7 that will come out early next year, Something about MobileMe and some update about 4.2 for the iDevices. They don’t want to do another event come November.

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  11. Attention Windows users: This is a lion. Get in your cars. Now.

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  12. An out there prediction: the ability to run iOS apps on OS X.

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  13. so early. 10.6 hasn’t hit 10.6.8-9 yet. lets face it apple wants us the buy all the time.

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  14. My personal wish is that apple updates their macbooks with some new features. Whenever apple releases a new product like the iPad or iPhone 4; I like to think that they capitalize on the opportunity, and treat these products like a platter on to which they put some of their newest features on display to test their acceptance. In the iPad we met apple’s new home made processor called the Apple A4 system on a chip. now it is at the heart of the iPhone, iPod touch, and apple tv as well. The same can be said about the retina display; I don’t see why apple wouldn’t put their displays into all of their products, like they are doing with their processors. what I’m hoping for is that these features are not limited to their iDevices. I would love nothing more than to see a new 11 inch macbook air with a new apple processor built specifically for mac OSX, and a new retina display, all for the price of $899. Apple used to brag so much about how much the powerPC chips in their powerbooks used to “Eat pentium notebooks for breakfast” I personally would love to see apple start challenging intel again and go back to “thinking different”

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  15. Lets pray that
    a it isn’t as buggy as the snow leopard intro was
    and
    b that, if its based on IOS, it doesn’t include all the ‘can only buy from the App store” crap that pollutes iOS.

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  16. “Mac OS X Leopard was officially announced on Oct. 16 2007, and released for sale only 10 days later. Snow Leopard was announced well before its actual release, but that was a unique case since it was basically an upgrade pack for Leopard. So, if 10.7 is on the way, we could see it hitting shelves on or shortly after Oct. 20, in time for holiday shoppers.”

    Come on, guys. Don’t provide meaningless speculation like this. The event was just announced and you’re speculating that because Leopard was available ten days after the event, Lion might be available by the 20th? A window for release hasn’t been established by what happened with one OS release three years ago. I might suggest that you say something like, “Obviously this confirms that 10.7 is on the way. Hopefully we could see it hitting shelves in time for holiday shoppers.”

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  17. Why is everyone ignoring back to Mac and apple’s new data center. It is all about cloud based computing. Maybe this is in relation to iTunes but i suspect it has to do with competition for dropbox and a revamped iDisk. This is critical to linking all their iOS gadgets and your desktop home folder. This has been hinted for years and now they will have the infrastructure to support it.

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    1. i think you nailed it. the new MBA is going to have a smaller hard drive (if we can even call it that anymore). New macbooks will focus on speed, battery life. Lion uses cloud computing (maybe 3G on the MBA and new computers?) in order to increase the speed of the computers and make more room for a larger battery.

      Moving the hard drive out of the computer – is this apple’s new revolutionary idea?

      this is entirely speculation – but wouldn’t it be fun if it was true?

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  18. sandy bridge??

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  19. I can’t wait for the new software system. Although I just got a Mac so if the hardware update is a big one I’ll be a little upset. But oh, well an even better one will follow I suppose.

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  20. if the new so called “revolutionary” feature Steve Jobs said is mulitouch, or even cloud integration, it’ll be extremely hard for iMac users and even Macbook users to upgrade….i honestly hope apple will find a way to make a Windows version of iLife….i would love them forever! (not like i already do)

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