Apple’s March event is official – here’s what to expect, including the iPhone SE 3
Invitations to Apple’s first product launch event of 2022 arrived on Wednesday, letting the world know that the company’s highly anticipated product event will be held virtually on March 8 at 10:00 AM PST.
Often referred to as the “Spring Event,” Apple’s March and April product launches almost invariably feature new consumer iPads, one or more MacBooks (Airs are often cool!), and a surprise or two.
A look at performance. 8 March. We’ll see each other there. #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/cEKMq7BuBhMarch 2, 2022
In the 24 hours preceding the official announcement, #AppleEvent was trending on Twitter, as if people were trying to bring the event to life. Oh, the disappointment if the announcement didn’t come today. This time, however, the experts were right. Now we have this colorful invitation and the words “Peek Performance,” along with Yung Bae’s song “Wonder.”
While the multicolored Apple logo is surely a nod to a colorful new line of MacBook Airs and iPad Airs, the word “Peek” is a possible hint that we might be taking a look at the AR glasses project. from Apple. It’s long, though.
Here’s what we think you can expect when Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage at the company’s 2022 product launch on Tuesday.
iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air
So what will Apple show this time around? The rumor mill points in the direction of a new iPhone SE, namely the iPhone SE 3.
Analysts and possible leaks point to a cheaper device than the latest model at $399 / £389 / AU$679. It could be in the region of $300 (£290 and AU$510). A redesign, which would move it from iPhone 8 territory to the more forward-thinking iPhone 13 area, seems unlikely.
As a budget device, the iPhone SE was stuck with 64GB and 128GB storage options (iPhone 13 starts with 128GB). iPhone SE 3 could remove low-end storage and open it up to 256GB level. On the other hand, can Apple make the phone cheaper while increasing the base storage space ?
At least the new iPhone SE 3 should be equipped with Apple’s latest mobile silicon, the A15 Bionic, and could even be 5G. That last part makes more sense when you think about how not just Apple, but carriers want to move everyone to the faster and more expensive level of connectivity.
It’s a safe bet that an iPad or two is also in the air. The iPad Air 5 is rumored to appear this quarter. Analysts seem divided on whether the panel will switch from LCD screen technology to the richer, possibly thinner OLED. A 10.9-inch screen, however, is probably still a lock. No one expects Apple to insert a TrueDepth and Face ID notch into the iPad Air (hell, they might be moving away from the notch this year).
As is usually the case, Apple will upgrade the components, while leaving the design and other key features in place. Expect an A15 Bionic processor and a 5G option.
Even if Apple doesn’t move the iPhone SE to a higher storage tier, it’s unlikely to leave the base iPad Air 5 at 64GB. be 256GB. At least that’s our hope.
Hi all M2
Since Apple has traditionally released a mainstream MacBook (sometimes more) in the spring, it’s fair to assume we might see a new MacBook Air sometime next week. However, the news here won’t necessarily be the new system, it will be the Apple Silicon in there: the long-talked-about M2.
The excitement surrounding Apple’s first second-generation M-series chip, however, could overshadow what is expected to be a significant system overhaul. The MacBook Air is expected to lose most of its soft shoulders in favor of a slightly more industrial and boxy design, which might make it look like a clamshell cousin to the iPad Air. Other design tweaks include new colors and even a white keyboard (this thing is going to look dull after a few months).
As for the M2, nobody expects more cores, but Apple will optimize its system to increase performance somewhere between the classic M1 and its M1 Pro line.
Airpods Pro 2
The AirPods Pro are, while aging gracefully, ready for an update. The AirPods Pro 2 could arrive next week with some impressive health and fitness features.
Some rumors point to workout tracking (which could mean heart rate and even temperature monitoring). Others have the AirPods Pro 2 replacing Bluetooth with some sort of optical transmission (we think that’s unlikely).
We could also see a more affordable pair of AirPods Pro Lite, although the difference to the AirPods 3 is unclear.
One more thing
Could the surprise be a brand new Apple TV device, perhaps even the long-talked about and now all but forgotten Apple TV set?
That’s right, Apple could still unveil its first smart TV in up to three sizes (42in, 50in, 65in, if we had to guess). All would pack features from the Apple TV streaming box, offer a brilliant 4K LED display (perhaps with an 8K option at the larger size), and a free one-year subscription to Apple TV+.
It’s a major stretch and the most likely surprise product is the one that slams HomePod mini and the Apple TV box together: a smart speaker that can control all your smart devices via voice, play Adele’s latest album via Apple Music and stream Ted Lasso.
Yes, we originally had Apple Glasses in the “don’t expect” category, but an exciting discovery changed our minds. This might be the biggest surprise of all.
What are you unlikely to see on March 8?
Apple has plenty of options for its Tuesday, March 8 event, but we expect them to hold back some things for later in the year.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is unlikely to appear. This is traditionally a fall update following the reveal of watchOS 9 which we expect in June at WWDC2022.
Also, don’t expect:
Whatever Apple announces, TechRadar will be there (virtually, like you), covering every latest introduction and reporting it in a live blog and plenty of fun, juicy stories.
We’re so ready to take our first bite of Apple 2022.