The first Apple hardware event of the year is just around the corner. Although Cupertino hasn’t confirmed anything just yet, reports claim Apple will hold a spring event on March 8. We are expecting a new iPhone SE with 5G, iPad Air 5, high-end Mac mini and a redesigned 27-inch iMac at the event. This is Apple’s one of the biggest shows of the year, and there’s always the potential for a surprise or two. Here’s what we’re expecting Apple to announce during its first big event of the year.
iPhone SE 5G
When the iPhone SE (2nd gen) was launched in 2020, it was hailed as the perfect smartphone for the pandemic. Its affordable price of $399, along with the features it offered drove consumer interest in the iPhone SE at a time when buying a high-end smartphone was hard for many people who were hit hard by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, two years later, it’s time for Apple to upgrade the iPhone SE. Reports suggest the third-generation iPhone SE will likely release in the first half of 2022, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman expecting the announcement to be made during Apple’s Spring event. The iPhone SE could feature an updated A15 Bionic, the same chipset that powers the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Based on reports, Apple won’t change the design of the iPhone SE, meaning it will still have a 4.7-inch screen and an old-school form factor. That means the next iPhone SE will also feature chunky bezels at the bottom and top as well as a physical button. Rumours point to Apple sticking with an LCD display for the iPhone SE 3, instead of using an OLED screen. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the iPhone SE 3 will include incremental upgrades like 5G support and processor update. A more advanced model of the iPhone SE, however, will only launch in 2023.
The iPad Air is a popular tablet among Apple users. (Image credit: Apple)
iPad Air 5
In addition to the new iPhone SE, Apple is expected to launch the next version of its popular iPad Air. The fifth-generation iPad Air will include an A15 Bionic chip, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G support for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash. The iPad Air falls between the iPad mini and iPad Pro range. Given that it’s a popular iPad in Apple’s tablet lineup, consumers will be interested in what Apple has cooked up for its latest iteration. The current iPad Air, which retails for $599, has a new look and tiny bezels, a Touch ID inside the power button on the top of the tablet, USB-C connectivity and much more.
The upcoming 27-inch iMac will replace the Intel version of the desktop computer. (Image credit: Apple)
Redesigned 27-inch iMac
A spring event would also mark the debut of new Macs. Apple could introduce a model of 27-inch iMac, something that’s long overdue. The tech giant has been rumoured to be planning a new 27-inch iMac with a mini-LED display for release in the first half of 2022. The new 27-inch iMac will reportedly support ProMotion, enabling a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother content and scrolling. The all-in-one desktop will be aimed at professional users powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, and it is possible that it will be branded as the iMac Pro. The recent report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple will only introduce the iPhone SE and iPad Air at its Spring event, with the 27-inch iMac likely to be launched sometime in mid-2022. The 27-inch iMac is expected to feature a similar design as the 24-inch M1 iMac.
The high-end version of the Mac mini will be aimed at professional users. (Image credit: Jon Prosser/Front Page Tech)
High-end Mac mini
Apple will also likely debut a new version of its Mac mini. There’s still debate as to where the new Mac mini will sit in the product lineup—it could sit between the existing M1 Mac mini and the rumoured 27-inch iMac. Interestingly, the upcoming Mac mini model will be aimed at creative professional users, rather than average Mac users. The high-end Mac mini will have an all-new design and plenty of ports. The device is expected to be powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
The new MacBook Air will bring a new design and a faster chip. (Image credit: Jon Prosser/Front Page Tech)
M2 chip, Revamped MacBook Air
There’s also a good chance we’ll see a new generation of Apple’s silicon, alongside the new Macs at WWDC in June. According to some reports, Apple will keep the same 8 CPU cores as on the M1, but may add more GPU cores to improve the capabilities of the M2. Not to forget, the M2 processor will be aimed at consumers rather than professional users. The updated MacBook Air could be the first Mac to be powered by the M2 processor. The most recent rumours indicate that the new MacBook Air will be heavily inspired by the M1 iMac’s colours. We could see the MacBook Air available in fun colours. Elsewhere, we expect the most popular Mac notebook to have a flat-edged design, white bezels surrounding the display, a mini-LED display, and plenty of ports.