Apple Peek Performance event: iPhone SE, iPad Air 5 and the MacBook Pro expected
Apple’s first event of 2022, Peek Performance, will be taking place tomorrow on March 8. Here is everything you can expect.
The first Apple event of the year will be happening tomorrow at 6pm UK time and 10am PST, with expectations that we could meet the next iPhone SE 2022 with potential for iPad and iMac products to be announced.
The event tagline is Peek Performace, which could hint at the inclusion of 5G in the iPhone SE and the Apple Silicon A15 processors in the iPad and iPhone range, for increased performance.
So, without further ado, here is what we expect to come out of Apple’s springtime event.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated products from this launch, the next iPhone SE has been hinted at multiple times in the run-up to the next Apple event, with market research organisation TrendForce reporting that the phone would come out in the first quarter of 2022, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman specifying March and April as the most likely launch months.
Looking at what we know about the iPhone SE 2022, rumours from developer DylanDKT (via AppleInsider) have suggested that the next model would only be a slightly tweaked version of the current SE, with a bigger revamp launching in 2024.
It’s also been claimed that there will be an iPhone SE Plus, with other rumours pointing to the new design sharing the same body as the iPhone XR, with a 6.1-inch screen rather than the smaller 4.7-inch display.
It would be likely that the next phone might include the A15 Bionic chipset and pack 5G connectivity, with the latter being the main feature currently missing from the iPhone SE lineup. Further leaked details hinted that the new phone could have one 12-megapixel camera with 3GB RAM.
For now, it seems that Apple is only eyeing up incremental improvements to the iPhone SE, and shelving the big redesign for two years. That’s disappointing in itself, but I hope that time-out lets the company reconsider the idea of using the iPhone XR’s shell, which is completely out of line with the iPhone SE’s typically small and manageable frame; there are precious few small smartphones around anymore, even among Android devices, and so the SE should stick to the tried and tested formula of being a big-value phone in a small package.
iPad Air 5
Next up is the iPad Air 5, with the announcement rumoured for tomorrow by Gurman in his Power On newsletter.
The next iPad Air could feature an OLED display, with the technology already featured in the iPhone 13 lineup and the Apple Watch 7, meaning that it wouldn’t be too surprising to see it used in the new iPad.
While there have been no concrete claims, we would expect some updates to the device, with the inclusion of 5G being an obvious choice alongside ProMotion, which is Apple’s own adaptive refresh rate technology that changes the number of times the panel refreshes per second, keeping the display interactions looking slick.
We would also hope to see the inclusion of the A15 Bionic processor, with some rumours adding that the iPad Air 5 will feature Centre Stage for the FaceTime camera.
Featuring a sleek design, at the time top-end components and new support for the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard we gave the iPad Air 4 a perfect 5/5 score when we tested it in 2020. This is why, despite rumours suggesting the only major upgrades will be a move to use OLED, rather than LCD screen tech and general under-the-hood performance upgrades, I can’t help but get a little excited about a new iPad Air making its debut this year. Even if the screen tech is the only big upgrade, OLED is always a welcome addition to any tablet, offering deeper blacks, for more immersive movie watching compared to its LCD rival.
Finally, many people are expecting to see at least one new Mac device with Apple Silicon come to light, though it’s unclear whether this will be a broader refresh of the existing Mac lineup or a specific release, like a new Mac Mini.
A new report claims that Apple is planning on introducing a new Mac computer category called the Mac Studio, which will be a powerful Pro-like machine that runs on Apple Silicon, but with a chassis akin to the Mac Mini. It’s unlikely that this device will see the light of day tomorrow, but not impossible.
Seeing as the second-generation M2 chipset will no doubt debut this year, we could see the MacBook Pro (13-inch) 2022 as the first laptop to kick off with the new technology. Both DigiTimes and MacRumors have reported that this device could be unveiled tomorrow but without any new features, other than the upgraded chipset.
Past the MacBook Pro, it’s unclear what other Mac products could be unveiled, though with the iMac Pro 2022 and MacBook Air 2022 also in the rumour mill, we can still hold out hope that another laptop or desktop will be introduced tomorrow.
I am a bit disappointed to hear that Apple may not be updating the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s design, especially when reports indicate the MacBook Air will be getting a major overhaul later this year in line with the updates to the iMac we saw in 2021. But it’s still nevertheless exciting that we could see the new M2 chip very soon. The M1 set a high benchmark, so it will be fascinating to see whether Apple will be able to make a significant generational performance uplift. Bring on the Spring showcase.