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'Scary Fast' adds watch parties and gift bags to an already unusual event

Apple Park with the Scary Fast Mac image

Apple's "Scary Fast" is shaping up to be an event unlike any the company usually holds for its launches.

There were already conflicting back and forth rumors about whether Apple would launch anything more this year, let alone hold an October event. Then there were wildly varying rumors of what the event will — and won't — include.

But there are certain facts about "Scary Fast" and they are all unusual.

There's the timing of the event, in two senses. For one thing, it's not unprecedented for Apple to hold an event so late in October, but it's only had one on October 30 once in the last two decades.

That was for the "there's more in the making" event in 2018 that introduced the then-latest MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iPad Pro models.

Otherwise, the closest to the end of October was 2004's U2 iPod release on October 26. Or a MacBook Pro update and the TV app, which were announced together on October 27, 2016.

But it's really the time of day that is most unusual about "Scary Fast." Typically, Apple holds its events at 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time, although famously the iPhone launch was earlier.

Nonetheless, 10:00 AM PT, is the norm, with that being 1:00 PM ET, and 6:00 PM in the UK. "Scary Fast" is instead happening at 5:00 PM PT, meaning a late evening for the East Coast, and a midnight feast for the UK.

It may also mean a convenient 9:00 AM in Japan, though. That fact alone has sent rumors flying that there will be some live element to the event, with games developers in Japan.

That does feed into rumors that "Scary Fast" could concentrate on games. It is expected, for instance, that new M3 Macs that may be announced will feature advanced ray tracing, which is a particular boon with gaming.

It's not the time, it's the mileage

No question, Apple has chosen this new time for a reason. It just may or may not become clear during the event what that reason is.

But hopefully we will learn why Apple has also taken a couple of further steps that are not unprecedented, but are certainly unusual.

Such as the way that select social media influencers were sent a gift bag by Apple in advance of the event. The gift bag played up how close to Halloween the event is, and also included a free pair of AirPods Max.

It's not clear how many influencers were sent this, but AirPods Max retail at $549, so it wasn't a cheap endeavour.

Now as spotted by 9to5, it appears that Apple is staging at least two private watch parties for the event.

One of them is in New York City, while the other is in Mexico City. Again, influencers are definitely among those invited, but this is not like when journalists are welcomed in to Apple Park.

Instead, it's understood that the gatherings in both cities are small. That could fit with the event including a listening party as well as a watching one.

That's because Apple did go to some pains with its influencers' goodie bags to stress that it would be good to experience the event in spatial audio.

Occam's Razor

So on the one hand, we have an event that follows countless conflicting rumors, It's an event that Apple is going to some lengths to promote in new ways and potentially for new audiences — via influencers, or via Japan.

But it could also just be that Apple has a new PR man or woman who has convinced the company to shake things up a little.

We'll know tonight, as Apple streams its new "Scary Fast" event. Whether you're seeing it late afternoon in California, or past the witching hour elsewhere you can catch the live stream online and on Apple TV.