Apple‘s next hardware event is almost here. The company today announced it is hosting an event on Tuesday, March 8, at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET/7 PM CET/11:30 PM IST). As usual in this day and age, it’ll be a virtual event that you can tune into from Apple’s website or Apple TV. It’ll be on YouTube as well.
— Greg Joswiak (@gregjoz) March 2, 2022
Apple’s event invitation features the tagline ‘peek performance,’ along with some AR graphics. That suggests we’ll get a look at some new Mac hardware, and perhaps some updates to AR features. We’ve also heard rumors of a new iPhone SE, an updated iPad Air, and more.
Here’s what to expect from the event.
A new iPhone SE
Every few years, Apple releases a low-cost iPhone using modern components in an old body, and this year seems no different. According to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, Apple plans on launching the third iPhone SE at $399, featuring the same iPhone 6-esque design as before, but with 5G support, an improved camera, and the A15 Bionic processor.
iPad Air 5
New year, new iPad. The iPad is expected to get the A15 chip, two extra speakers (for a total of four), and 5G connectivity. Camera improvements are likely as well.
A new desktop Mac (probably the Mini)
According to Gurman, Apple is planning to announce a lot of Macs this year, and it’s very likely we’ll see at least one at the March 8 event. The ‘Peek performance’ tagline; also points in this direction Apple doesn’t usually announce its high-performance mobile products until the fall.
Rumors are currently pointing to a ‘Mac Mini Pro,’ featuring the M1 Max and M1 Pro chips; after all, it makes no sense for Apple’s laptops to be more powerful than its desktop offerings for so long. This Mac Mini is expected to offer a slimmer, sleeker design.
— ian (@ianzelbo) May 25, 2021
The tagline could also be interpreted more literally as Apple’s absolute best, which would indicate the company will announce or tease the full-size Mac Pro, but we haven’t seen concrete rumors to suggest this will be the case.
A new MacBook or two with M2
Apple’s M1 chip was announced in 2020, which means it’s just about due for an update. Rumors have pointed to a new MacBook Pro powered by an entry-level M2 chip that should outperform the previous M1 MacBook Pro, but that won’t quite match up to the M1 Pro and Max.
In order to keep costs relatively low, the new MacBook Pro won’t feature a fancy 120 Hz display or MiniLED panel. The blessing of the lesser screen technology is that it may avoid the dreaded notch. Maybe.
It’s also extremely likely that Apple will announce a redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip sometime this year, but it’s not clear if it will arrive at this event.
On the software side of things, we’re expecting a release date for iOS 15.4. It’s a largely mid-cycle upgrade, most notably including support for FaceID while wearing a mask. It also includes over 30 new emoji, a non-binary Siri voice, and support for multi-device interactions with Universal Control. But expect most software announcements to arrive at WWDC later this year.
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