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Apple sends out invitations for Oct. 16 iPad event: 'It's been way too long'

As it has done in years past, Apple will again hold a media event this month, as the company officially invited members of the press on Wednesday to an Oct. 16 presentation with the tagline "It's been way too long."

Apple is widely expected to use the event to unveil new iPad models, which are rumored to feature Touch ID fingerprint sensors. Recent reports have also suggested the company may unveil a new 27-inch iMac with a high-resolution Retina display.

The event will be held at Apple's Cupertino, Calif., corporate campus next Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. AppleInsider will be onhand with full, live coverage of the event.

In addition to new hardware, Apple is also expected to launch OS X Yosemite, its next-generation Mac operating system, at the event. And the company has also pledged to debut Apple Pay, its mobile payment system for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, this month.

The Oct. 16 date was first revealed by Re/code last week, which characterized the event as a "more laid-back affair" than the unveiling of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch that took place in September. Apple has used the month of October in recent years to introduce new iPad models, including the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display last year.

AppleInsider first reported last month that Apple was planning its next major product unveiling in mid-to-late October. Sources familiar with the company's pre-launch logistics said that the company had set internal project and marketing deadlines of mid-October.

Apple's 2014 lineup refresh is widely expected to bring add Touch ID fingerprint sensor currently exclusive to the iPhone. It's also highly likely that the new iPads will boast the same A8 processor found in the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Another recent report suggested the next-generation iPads may also be offered in a gold color, taking after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s before them.

Last year the new iPads were announced in October and were made available to consumers in early November — the iPad Air shipped on Nov. 1, 2013, while the iPad mini with Retina display launched soon after.

As for the new iMac, it's rumored to feature a 27-inch Retina display with a 5K-resolution, which would mark the first time ever Apple will offer an ultra-high resolution panel on its all-in-one desktop.

Yosemite was first showcased to developers at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference this summer, and is scheduled to launch in the fall. It's likely that Yosemite will become available for download very soon after Apple's anticipated Oct. 16 presentation.

The company has also revealed that Apple Pay, its NFC-based secure mobile payment service for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, will launch with a forthcoming iOS 8 update in October, giving it a possible appearance at the rumored event.

Apple is also said to be working on a redesigned MacBook Air with a high-resolution Retina display, but recent reports have suggested its launch may be pushed back to 2015. The new model is rumored to come in one screen size of 12 inches, and is rumored to feature a fan-less quiet design, click-less trackpad, and fewer inputs and outputs on its shrunken frame.

The Apple TV set-top box is also overdue for an update, but reports have suggested that it, too, may not see a refresh until next year. The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant is said to have been held up by talks over content deals with cable and media companies.

Finally, the diminutive Mac mini is also a candidate for an update, and one recent report claimed that the company could be priming a refresh for this month. However, aside from that lone report, there has been no other concrete evidence suggesting a refresh is imminent.