OS X Mavericks Goes Gold, Meaning New Retina Apple Products May Be Imminent

The gold master ripcord has officially been pulled.

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OS X 10.9, the final two-dot-one release of Apple’s over 12-year-old Mac operating system is nigh: Apple just pushed the gold master out to developers.

Barring any catastrophic whoopsie-doodles, that means we’re talking about the same finished and polished version you and I should be able to slurp down vis-a-vis the Mac App Store later this month. Gold masters typically precede a public release by a few weeks, which would align neatly with predictions stretching back to mid-summer that Apple would roll out new tablets and laptops in October sporting Intel’s new, more power-efficient Haswell chips (already in the MacBook Air and iMac) as well as this latest point release of OS X.

I’ve been waiting for a Retina MacBook Pro refresh for months: The 15.4-inch launch model arrived in June 2012, and it’s had just one, nominal speed bump along the way. Rumor has it Apple’s planning to avail itself of Intel’s Haswell GT3 or GT3e (Iris 5100 or Iris Pro 5200) integrated GPU, which should offer considerably better visual performance than the current 13- and 15-inch models’ Intel HD Graphics 4000 part. I’m just crossing my fingers that Apple still plans to offer a discrete GPU option on the high-high end, for those like me who might (foolishly) attempt to run games like Guild Wars 2Diablo III or StarCraft II at the 15.4-inch Retina Pro’s native 2,880 x 1,880 pixel resolution.

What this all probably means: Look for Apple to stage another “special event” probably late in October (last year’s was on October 23), during which Apple would talk up OS X Mavericks’ perks and maybe trot out new laptops and tablets while circling back to tout the already-announced and long-awaited reimagined Mac Pro.

And all these rumors you’ve been hearing about a Retina iPad Mini? Wish for limited product availability in one hand, flip a 2014 coin with the other.