What to Expect From Apple’s ‘Back to the Mac’ Event Today

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Apple is holding its Back to the Mac media event today at 1:00 PM, Eastern. We could all wait patiently for the company to announce whatever it’s going to announce, or we could go the fun route and engage in wild speculation.

Here’s a look at what’s rumored to be heading our way today.

Mac OS X Lion

Apple’s been using cats to push its operating system versions for a while now, and the invitation that was sent out to members of the press (seen above) shows a picture of a lion hidden behind the Apple logo.

This will be version 10.7 of Apple’s operating system and rumor has it that the interface will get the rubber banding and inertial scrolling found in the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

While those three devices rely solely on touch interfaces, what about desktop users? Apple’s been leaning more towards touch on the desktop with its Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad peripherals, so a more finger-friendly UI isn’t too much of a stretch.

New iLife Suite

It appears that Apple may have already spilled the beans on iLife 11 itself, according to BGR. New support forums on Apple’s website have been uncovered with the following names: iPhoto ’11, GarageBand ’11, iMovie ’11, and one simply titled Reserved 10 20.

There’s also another one called MBA (Need official name), which brings us to our next rumor…

New MacBook Air Models

Apple’s ultraportable MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since June of last year, so it’s about due for an overhaul. Rumors are indicating that we may see not only a 13.3-inch version similar to the currently-available form factor, but an all new 11.6-inch version as well.

AppleInsider contends that the 11.6-inch MacBook Air model “won’t replace the 13.3-inch model, but will instead complement it as a more aggressively-priced option.”

Keep in mind that the current version of the 13.3-inch MacBook Air starts at $1,500, so “aggressively-priced” doesn’t necessarily mean Apple would position an 11.6-inch MacBook Air to compete with netbooks.

I’ve tried to make the case that an 11.6-inch MacBook Air priced around $800 would fit into Apple’s product line quite nicely, but I get the feeling that the company isn’t keen on pricing any of its notebooks lower than $999. I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised, though.

As with all rumors, don’t put too much stock into this information since nothing’s been officially announced yet. We’ll have a full breakdown of what Apple actually rolls out shortly after the event this afternoon.

More on Techland:

How Would Apple Position an 11.6-inch MacBook Air?

Steve Jobs Disses BlackBerry, Google, and 7-inch Tablets

Breaking: Apple Holding “Special” Mac Event on October 20th