Here’s what Apple might announce at a spring event in March

The iPhone SE 2020
Enlarge / The iPhone SE 2020.

Samuel Axone

It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since Apple announced a slew of new iPhone, Apple Watch, and MacBook Pro computers, but we’re probably months away from another product unveiling event from the company.

The internet is spinning with wild speculation today, so it seems like a good time to check and set expectations as much as possible at this point.

Why a spring event?

Apple’s spring events for the past few years have fallen on April 20, March 25, March 27, and March 21. And based on the company’s typical release/update cadence, several Apple products are expected now: high-end Mac mini models, the iPad Air, iPhone SE, Mac Pro, iMac large format and the iPad Pro.

Last spring, Apple introduced AirTags, the new M1-based 24-inch iMac, M1-based iPad Pro models, and a slightly revised Apple TV 4K on April 20.

Unlike other years, Apple did not hold any events in the spring of 2020. The pandemic was escalating, and Apple had not yet decided on its new, streaming-focused approach to what were historically in-person events. Nonetheless, Apple introduced updates to the MacBook Air and iPad in March of that year, a second-generation iPhone SE in April, and an update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro in May.

The internet is abuzz about the Spring 2022 event in part because, as has been typical for the past few years, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman has been blow up predictions via Twitter, email and articles on the Bloomberg website.

The next iPhone SE

Unlike some earlier reports that cited specific sources familiar with Apple’s plans, Gurman’s predictions for the spring event are just that: very well-informed predictions or guesses. He says an iPhone SE is pretty much a sure thing and new iPads are likely, though his iPad predictions are more purely speculative.

Fortunately, we have more than Gurman’s hunches. Several months ago there were reliable reports of an iPhone SE 5G. Additionally, Apple recently filed several filings with the European Economic Commission that indicate a plethora of new iPad models are on the way. But those filings aren’t always close to launch, and those products could be for later in the year rather than spring, or they could even be for products releasing in 2023. In other words, they don’t are not much to do. to.

So yeah, today’s talk of the event is mostly speculation.

But when it comes to the iPhone SE, we’re likely looking at an A15 chip and 5G capabilities in a design similar to the current model, if a recent report from Nikkei is to be believed.

The iPad Air: Probably. Other iPads: maybe

The iPad Air is in many ways Apple’s flagship iPad, as the iPad Pro offers more than most people need, the iPad mini is specialized, and the base iPad offers less. what a lot of people want. But the Air hasn’t been updated since late 2020, and its A14 chip lags a bit behind everything but the base iPad.

The iPad Pro is a year away, but it already has the latest screen technology and the fastest processor. The Pro took over a year to cool down before, so don’t count on it for spring. If updated, however, it will likely feature Apple’s second-generation M2 processor, which is also expected to ship in a newly redesigned MacBook Air this year. But that could easily happen in the fall instead of the spring.

The iPad, iPad mini, and Apple TV 4K are all relatively current, as are the mainstream AirPods. It’s been a minute for the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, though.

The Mac Transition Continues, Maybe

Apple is still halfway through its total overhaul of the Mac product line, replacing Intel chips with the company’s own custom-designed ARM silicon. Notable outliers are the Mac mini (its low-end specs have the M1, but its high-end specs are still Intel), the 27-inch iMac (which report after report said it would be replaced by a 30 inch model with chips similar to recent MacBook Pro models) and the Mac Pro.

We think the Mac Pro probably won’t arrive until at least WWDC in June, but a new iMac and high-end Mac mini are strong candidates for a spring event.

Don’t get excited for Apple AR/VR just yet

If you were hoping to see Apple’s Mixed Reality Glasses so soon, you’re definitely going to be disappointed. First off, this device would be best suited for an unveiling at Apple’s developer conference in June. Indeed, its release would come with many new toolkits and APIs, and it requires substantial developer support to be successful.

This June has long been rumored for the launch of the glasses, but a recent report claimed that Apple had run into some issues and the device could be pushed back to late 2022 or even until 2023.

The spring event is often service-oriented

The spring event often focuses on Apple services, such as Music, TV+, Fitness+, News+ and iCloud. We expect to see new hardware in March or April, but don’t be surprised if services are front and center. Expect new TV+ shows, music features, Fitness+ workout categories, and more, like an expanded feature set for Apple’s recently launched iCloud+.

Plus, we’ve seen hints in software betas from Apple and elsewhere for about a year about a smart, expanded new platform and operating system. Seems like a better fit for WWDC, but you never know – keep an eye out.

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