With less than six days to go before Tuesday, October 14th and not a word from Apple, chances of a much-rumored media event on that day to introduce new Mac notebook offerings is growing slim.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on next Tuesday as the day Apple might summon the media to another special event ever since Daring Fireball author John Gruber predicted in passing that October 14th would serve as a launch pad for the company’s next-generation notebook offerings.

AppleInsider say that while the prediction remains sound and introductions on that date remain possible, history would suggest that the window of opportunity for Apple to do so in a media-filled forum is rapidly closing. Taking a historical look back at Apple’s surprise media events (below) reveals that only once in the last four years has the company issued invites to the media less than a week before the event was scheduled to take place.

That one exception took place in October of 2005, when Apple gave a select few in the media a five day notice about a special East Coast gathering in New York City that saw the unveiling of several professional Macs, as well as the the first version of the Aperture post production photography software. In all other cases, the company offered between 7 and 9 days notice (and in one case nearly a month’s notice).

The window of opportunity is not completely closed, however. Several scenarios for an announcement next week still remain. The company could simply provide reduced notice of an event next Tuesday or issue invites today for an event on Wednesday. Alternatively, it could elect to introduce redesigned MacBook and MacBook Pros next week without a formal presentation.

Apple has defied expectations of a special media event at least once in the past. For example, it introduced the first 13-inch MacBook - complete with a fresh industrial design - in May of 2006 with little fanfare, posting the announcement to its website alongside a standard press release.

Should Apple fail to introduce new notebooks next week, it would seemingly be in a race against the clock with the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching. The company would have approximately five weeks to introduce new models, fill pent-up demand, enter into a supply and demand equilibrium, and fill inventories around the world before the post Thanksgiving shopping bonanza kicks into play.