Several of our tipsters work for Apple Authorized re-sellers who are running very low on desktop supplies; there's even an Apple Store employee tip saying they have 4 iMacs in stock. When I worked at the Apple Store, there were always 40+ iMacs in stock. Having 4 in a store is just unheard of -- unless there's something in the works. The day of, or a few before, the announcement, we would always get a couple pallets worth of machines that were labeled "Do Not Open Until" with either a date or "notification from corporate."
Another tipster ordered a mini on September 18th, and received shipping information, but today received an email saying that their Mac mini order will ship on October 9th.
Lastly, an Apple Store employee "confirmed" the rumor of new machines being out this October to one of our readers. I have to speculate and say that the employee (who we won't name) is probably reading too many rumor sites. Apple does not tell their retail employees about product refreshes for this exact reason. It's too risky -- one careless employee could essentially steal all of Apple's ability to announce a cool, new product. We're pretty good at digging the information up anyways... but why make it easy for us?
We're hoping that these rumors don't amount to a minor speed bump... SD Card slots, Blu-ray, Cinema Display styled design -- If we don't see something new, we'll all be somewhat disappointed. We're also hoping for a MacBook refresh but that conversation has paled in comparison to the iMac and Mac mini rumors. We've been on the edge of our seats since Monday when the store went down twice. Each time gave us no fruit from the Apple tree, but we'll keep an eye out. Let us know if you hear anything else about it via our tips page or in the comments.