The March event was bookended with products from opposite ends of the affordability spectrum.
Everything Apple announced this week at its Peek Performance event
This week’s Apple Event showcased a few known quantities, such as the new iPhone SE and iPad Air, and a couple of neat surprises, like the Apple Mac Studio and M1 Ultra processor.
Even though we never did get a sneak peek at the Apple AR/VR headset that many starry-eyed hopefuls expected, there were still a few big product announcements that nobody saw coming.
Here’s everything revealed at the March 2022 Apple Event.
By the time Wednesday morning rolled around, there was little doubt left that Apple would reveal the latest 5G iPhone SE and that’s exactly what Tim Cook front-loaded the show with. It was a fairly rote affair overall, with all the anticipated updates to Apple’s more affordable iPhone (5G connectivity, better processor) and nothing more.
If anything, the new iPhone SE didn’t quite match expectations. Night mode photography seemed like a safe bet for a $719+ smartphone but alas, SE users will have to wait for another generation (at least) for the nocturnal camera tech.
Overall, most of the iPhone SE 2022’s hardware remains largely unchanged from the 2020 model. It does offer 5G connectivity, as expected, and the same A15 Bionic processor as the iPhone 13. So despite the minimal updates to the SE’s internals, the new processor should still be a boon for battery optimisation and heavy-duty camera software.
The new iPhone SE is available in three colours– Midnight, Starlight and (PRODUCT)RED– and 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage variants retailing at $719, $799 and $969, respectively.
Pre-orders for the iPhone SE begin from 12:00am AEDT on Saturday, the 12th of March with units officially available from Friday the 18th of March.
Apple’s new trend of mid-life colour additions for its flagship phones continues with the new green iPhone range. This year, all four iPhone 13 models are receiving a fresh lick of paint. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are both available in the fancy new Alpine Green while the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini both get the basic Green option. Both options aren’t too far removed from the iPhone 11’s Midnight Green; just a few shades darker going off the promotional photos.
Pre-orders for the Green and Alpine Green iPhone models begin from midnight AEDT on Saturday, the 12th of March with units officially available from Friday the 18th of March.
One of the more compelling products to come out of the event was the new 2022 iPad Air. Like the iPhone SE, the hardware updates are incremental in the truest sense but there are a few more upgrades to look forward to in the iPad Air than there are in the SE. Firstly, the new iPad Air will be powered by Apple’s popular M1 processor, the same brain inside some of the most recent MacBooks. If the performance is on par with the M1 MacBooks, you’ll be getting a whole lot of power for such a lightweight device.
As superficial as it may be, one of the most exciting things about the new iPad Air is Centre Stage for video calls; a feature made possible with the new Air’s 14MP Ultra-Wide FaceTime HD camera. If you haven’t witnessed it, Centre Stage is a feature for video calls that recognises users and keeps them centred in the frame, even as they move around the room. And if another friend or family member enters the call, the camera will zoom out and reframe both individuals. It’s fascinating technology when it works, hilarious when it fails and, truthfully, quite handy for group calls with multiple people on one device.
Finally, as expected, 5G is on the menu for those who get the WiFi + Cellular model.
All five colour options for the new iPad Air are available for preorder from the 12th of March 2022, with units officially available from Friday the 18th of March.
CEO Tim Cook kicked off the entire presentation with a nod to the success of Apple TV+ originals before announcing the company’s first move in the competitive sports streaming space. Friday Night Baseball is a weekly MLB (Major League Baseball) doubleheader that will stream to eight countries, including Australia.
Apple is gearing up to spend top dollar on its sports partnerships over the next four years, and this deal with the MLB might be the first of many if recent comments from Apple are to be believed.
Apple finished off the Peek Performance on a high note (and even higher price), when it officially announced the Apple Mac Studio and a flash new M1 Ultra processor to go with it.
Costing between $3,099 for the M1 Max version and $6,099 for the M1 Ultra version, the cost of the Mac Studio is still enough to bring tears to your eyes, despite costing significantly less than the $9,999 - $10,749 Mac Pro desktop computer. To be fair, these high-powered devices are usually reserved for professionals and workplaces with the dough to afford them. The type of people who can comfortably afford to spend $2,499 on Apple’s final announcement, the Studio Display.
The baby sibling of the $8,499 Pro Display XDR (32-inch 6K Retina), the Studio Pro is a 27-inch 5K Retina display with 600 nits peak brightness. Interestingly, it also offers a 12MP Ultra-Wide FaceTime camera (with Centre Stage), a ‘studio-quality’ three mic array and a six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio, three features the Pro Display XDR doesn’t offer, despite costing over twice as much.
The Mac Studio costs $3,099 for the M1 Max version and $6,099 for the M1 Ultra version. The Studio Display costs $2,499. Both devices are available in Australia from this week.