Apple will live webcast the Oct. 16 news conference where it's expected to introduce new iPad tablets, launch the OS X Yosemite operating system and perhaps tout refreshed Macs.
Early Friday, Apple inserted a notice of the upcoming event on its home page. That notice led to a page with the brief message, "Join us here at apple.com/live on October 16 at 10 a.m. PDT to watch our special event live."
This will be the third year running that Apple webcasts its fall iPad introduction, following the unveilings of the iPad Mini in 2012 and the iPad Air in 2013. Webcasts, while not rare, are unusual for Apple, which does not publicly broadcast all of its product launches.
Apple has to hope that the Oct. 16 webcast goes smoother than the last time it streamed an event: The Sept. 9 iPhone 6 introduction was plagued by a host of problems, including interruptions, black screens, failed audio, color bars, repeated segments, and a Chinese translator talking in the background for almost a fourth of the webcast.
As it has done in the past, Apple will limit the webcast to those using Safari on OS X or iOS, or through its Apple TV peripheral. Windows users will be out of luck unless they have a virtual machine running OS X.
Apple teased the event with the phrase, "It's been way too long" in both the invitations it sent to reporters, bloggers and analysts on Wednesday, and in the webcast notice.
Analysts anticipate that Apple will roll out refreshed iPad Air and iPad Mini tablets that maintain their current size and shape -- perhaps slightly thinner, a constant pursuit of the Cupertino, Calif. company -- and announce the same-day availability of OS X Yosemite, the Mac operating system that is in its final stages of development.
Yesterday, Apple released the third "golden master," or GM, of Yosemite to registered developers.
Some online reports have also claimed that Apple will offer its iPads in the same shade of gold that has been popular on the iPhone line. Carolina Milanesi, chief of research and head of U.S. business for Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, hoped that that was only a rumor.
"That color may look good on a smaller device, but it looks really tacky on something the size of a tablet," Milanesi said in a Wednesday interview, citing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S as an example.
Other have also claimed that Apple will also show off new iMac desktop computers next week. With the exception of a tweaked, entry-level iMac introduced in June, the line-up has been unchanged since September 2013.
Apple may also provide an update on Apple Pay, the electronic payment system it introduced last month. At the time, it said Apple Pay would be available in October. Most experts expect that the new iPad Air will feature the same Touch ID fingerprint scanner that is embedded in the iPhone 6's home button; Touch ID is a critical component of Apple Pay authorization.
Apple's webcast will start at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) next Thursday.