Apple “Back to the Mac” Event Oct. 20: OS X 10.7 On The Agenda?

Apple (s aapl) 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?

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