There's also some anticipation that Apple will introduce a third generation iPad mini -- this late fall event is where the tablet first debuted in 2012. Like the iPad Air, the iPad mini is expected to get a pretty standard refresh, with a more powerful chip. Both tablets are also expected to sport a fingerprint reader.
Both the iPad Air and the iPad mini already have Apple's "retina display," but Ars Technica reports that, while both tablets will keep their resolutions, Apple may tweak the way screens are constructed to improve how colors look on the tablets. A user guide on Apple's iTunes store that appears to have been published inadvertently seems to confirm that an "iPad mini 3" and "iPad Air 2" are on their way, MacRumors reported.
Apple is also expected to refresh some of its Mac lines, turning its attention to the non-mobile part of the business. 9 to 5 Mac's Marc Gurman has reported that Apple will show off new iMacs that look similar to existing models, but could sport retina displays. There's also some hope that Apple will refresh the Mac mini, which hasn't gotten an update since 2012. Sadly, Re/Code's John Paczkowski has reported that there will be no retina-display MacBook Air introduced at Thursday's event -- which, if true, is likely to disappoint many Apple fans.
The company is also expected to officially launch some products that it has previewed in the past. First up is Apple's next operating system, Mac OS X 10.10, also known as Yosemite. The software has been in beta test mode for several months now and so most of features are fairly well known. The most exciting one will allow iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads to link seamlessly with Macs via Bluetooth. That way users will be able to send e-mail drafts, documents and even Web searches easily between the devices.
Before you get too excited, though, you should check to see if your Mac will be able to take advantage of all of those features. As Ars Technica reported, most Macs from 2008 or later will be able to run Yosemite, but the sharing features only work in computers with newer Bluetooth technology. That includes most Macs after 2012, along with MacBook Air and Mac Mini models from 2011.
Apple Pay, the company's smartphone-based payment system, is also expected to get a launch date at the event. Partners such as Bank of America, McDonalds and Apple's own stores have already begun training employees on how to use those systems, according to 9 to 5 Mac.
Apple tends to be very secretive about its plans, and therefore hasn't officially confirmed any of these releases. That said, the company is unlikely to repeat the "everyone gets an album" trick it pulled after the iPhone event, when it gave every iTunes user a free copy of U2's "Songs of Innocence," whether they liked it or not.
Just how bad was that backlash? Let's put it this way: Even Bono has now apologized for the way that launch was handled. Ouch.