Earlier this week, Apple sent out press invitations for an Oct. 22 event to be held in San Francisco. The message on the invites? "We still have a lot to cover."
But what is "a lot"? If the speculation building over the past several months is to be believed, Apple will introduce the next generations of the iPad and iPad Mini next week. Sifting through the rumor heap, here's what we think Apple will reveal with its new tablets:
A Thinner, Lighter, Faster iPad With An Improved Camera
According to a report earlier this month from AllThingsD, Apple's fifth generation iPad -- or "iPad 5" -- will be a sleeker, speedier beast. The bump in speed will reportedly come thanks to the addition of a 64-bit A7 chip, the same chip that helped make the iPhone 5S twice as fast as the iPhone 5 according to Apple. Rumors have also indicated that the M7 motion co-processor -- a chip that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass -- will make its way from iPhone 5S to the new iPad.
Chinese supplier website sx-box.com claimed to have the case for the tablet, as noted by ABC News. According to that site, the new iPad will measure 7.2 mm thick, or 2.2 mm thinner than the current iPad.
Reports of an improved camera come from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said that iPad 5 will feature an 8 megapixel camera and larger aperture.
Finally, An iPad Mini With Retina Display
As for the iPad Mini, both The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported in August that the second iteration of the iPad Mini will likely come with Apple's high-resolution, Retina display. The bump in resolution will bring the iPad Mini up to date with the newest MacBook Pros, iPhones and regular-sized iPads.
The only problem? Reuters reported earlier this month that the iPad Mini with Retina could potentially face delays within the company's supply chain during the coming holiday rush.
A Fingerprint Sensor For iPads, Too
Considered the banner feature of the iPhone 5S, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that can be used to unlock and make purchases on Apple's latest smartphone might make its way to the iPad and iPad Mini as well. Sonny Dickson, the Australian teen who has become an Internet darling for his uncannily accurate Apple leaks, tweeted in September that at least the new iPad Mini would be outfitted with Touch ID.
Apple's Midas Touch
In September, Chinese website DoNews posted two photos of what it claimed was a gold-, or "champagne-," colored, iPad Mini with Touch ID. Given the massive success of the gold iPhone 5S, it makes sense for Apple to paint some of its iPads that color as well. In September, Dickinson added another color to the fray by tweeting a photo of what he claimed to be a new "space gray" iPad Mini.
Does "We Still Have A Lot To Cover" = A New Cover?
If the invite to September's iPhone event is any indication, we may be able to glean a clue from October's figure out what will be unveiled. The invite for the iPhone event claimed that it would "brighten everyone's day," before Apple revealed the colorful iPhone 5C. The invite had bright circles that resembled the 5C and its special cases, and white circles with gray outlines that resembled the Touch ID sensor.
With a thinner iPad, could we also see a new smart cover? Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian J. White told Apple Insider that the new iPad's smaller size "will provide Apple with an excuse to unveil a new Smart Cover."