It’s official. Apple will be holding its first big event of the year tomorrow — on March 8, at 1:00pm EST (or 10:00am PST) — and you can expect new hardware. At past spring events, Apple has announced its first M1-based iMac and M1-based iPad Pros, AirTags and an updated Apple TV (all in 2021), as well as the updated and redesigned iPhone SE (in 2020). This year, we’re expecting a new affordable iPhone, a new-and-improved iPad Air and a few new Macs with updated chipsets. There could be a few surprises (new AirPods Pro? new external monitors? AR/VR glasses?) as well.
Here’s what you need to know.
We’ll probably see Apple announce a new affordable iPhone
Apple hasn’t given us a new iPhone SE in almost two years — but that looks set to change in the very near future. The iPhone SE that was released in spring 2020 borrowed the design of the iPhone 8 (released in 2017) and the name of the original iPhone SE (released in 2016), but it packed new guts, a new camera and some new features (like wireless charging).
The rumored 2022 iPhone SE is expected to start at the same entry-level price point ($399), but Apple will presumably deck it out with a new processor, new camera — and, most significantly, support for 5G internet. It’s expected to have the same design as the 2020 iPhone SE (so, no support for MagSafe).
We’ll likely see Apple announce a new iPad Air
The iPad Air was last updated in September 2020. At the time, Apple decked it out with a drastically new design so that it more closely resembled the iPad Pro (meaning it got a more edge-to-edge display, a new camera system, USB-C charging instead of Lightning, and support for most of the same accessories as the iPad Pro).
The 2022 iPad Air isn’t expected to change so drastically — in fact, it will likely have the same exact design — but Apple is expected to give it an updated processor (likely an A15 Bionic chip, which is the same chip in its iPhone 13 line), a new camera system and bring in support for 5G.
Apple might finally announce a high-end Mac mini
The upcoming spring hardware event is likely to more heavily focus on the new iPhone SE and iPad Air, but it’s likely that Apple will also announce a new Mac mini. Don’t expect a change of design, but it’s likely that Apple will finally give pro-users the option to get a Mac mini with its higher-end M1 Pro or M1 Max chips. (Apple the first M1-based Mac mini in late 2020.)
Apple could announce a new iMac Pro
It’s been heavily rumored that Apple is working on a new-and-improved iMac Pro, which was first launched in 2017 and then oddly discontinued last year in March 2021. If true, the new iMac Pro will get a complete redesign so that it looks similar to the new colorful 24-inch iMac, but in a 27-inch model.
Apple will deck it out with a much higher-end display (likely similar to its current Pro Display XDR) and its higher-end M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. However, this spring event is more likely to focus on the new iPhone SE and iPad Air, so Apple could hold off on the returning iMac Pro for a later date.
We probably won’t see a new 13-inch MacBook Pro — at least, not yet
Those of us waiting for the 13-inch MacBook Pro to join its brethren in banishing the Touch Bar will probably still be waiting a bit past March to see a new entry-level member of the MacBook Pro lineup. That said, when it does come, it likely won’t have many of the fancy features of the more expensive Pros like the 120-Hz ProMotion display, according to Bloomberg‘s Gurman.
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