Apple is widely expected to be holding their first event of 2022 this March and the hot new products up for grabs include the iPhone SE 3, iPad Air 5, and Mac mini M1 Pro and Max, along with outside changes of iPad 10 and iMac M1 Pro and Max. Let's do this!
2016: iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro
2017: No event, but Red iPhone 7, iPad 5, and then the mother of all WWDCs
2018: Education, iPad 6, and then Red iPhone 8
2019: Services… and Oprah! But low-key iPad Air, mini, and AirPods 2
2020: Canceled! But still… iPhone SE 2, A12Z iPad Pro, and Magic Keyboard
2021: April… but Purple iPhone, AirTags, M1 iMac, and M1 iPad Pro
So, yeah, Apple Events mostly come out in March. Mostly. Sometimes they skip the spring, sometimes they drop new products in press releases instead or as well, and last year they went in April. But until such time as March ends, we will act as though Apple intends to Event on. Virtually, at least.
But especially with Tim Cook no doubt beyond super eager to get the good morning going on what’s looking to be one of Apple’s biggest years ever.
So hit that subscribe button and bell to help me build the best community in tech, and then let’s start with what seems most likely for the spring… I mean, other than a purple iPhone 13, which I’d just love.
iPhone SE 3
iPhone SE 3. It’s one of those products that falls into Apple’s “the older design you love with updated internals so you can keep on loving it for a few more years”. The original brought back the smaller iPhone 5s body but crammed in the faster iPhone 6s brains. The second brought back the iPhone 8 Home body, but crammed in the iPhone 11 brains. So… this third one is going to bring back the iPhone XR body, and cram it full of iPhone 13 brains? Nope, not according to the latest reports, at least. That’ll be the fourth one a year or couple from now. For 2022, it sounds like Apple is keeping that iPhone 8 body and giving it a second transplant, this time with iPhone 13 brains… and a 5G radio. Plus the requisite camera updates.
So, Home button, Touch ID, and LCD faithful, rejoice, for Apple will be delivering unto you up to 5 more years of support for big brow and beard bezeled iPhones.
My only questions are, will the A15 Bionic and Qualcomm X60 modems be efficient enough to prevent battery life from being totally shredded on the already strained SE platform? Or does Apple have something else up their recently battery life boosting sleeves? And, in 2022, will a twice modded body be enough?
iPad Air 5
Then, iPad Air 5. Now, the Air got its modern redesign back in September of 2020, but just one year later, the iPad mini went and got the same redesign, but with even better internals,. So now the Air wants in on those updates as well. Specifically, A15 Bionic with the 5 core CPU, same as in the iPad mini and the iPhone 13 Pro. That’ll mean way more efficient performance cores, way more performant efficiency cores, and a huge boost to the graphics cores. Also a wide angle front-facing camera with Center Stage, which lets it zoom and pan around to keep you framed while you walk, talk, cook, or dance. Yeah, you do you. I won’t judge. Plus, 5G, because one more G, and everything is going that way anyway, a better rear camera, and likely a fresh new set of fashionable colors. Personally, I’m hoping for orange.
No mini LED, though, no ultra-wide camera on the back or LiDar, no 8 or 16 GB of memory, and no larger than 11-inch display, so it still won’t be pushing up against last spring’s iPad Pro, especially when the 11-inch Pro goes mini LED later this year. That said, I really do hope Apple gives us more than just the current 64 and 256 GB storage options. Who else here would MDK for 128 and 512?
Mac mini Pro
Mac mini Pro. Because back in 2018 Apple revived the mini as a badass space-gray server built for pros, but with the Great Switch-ening in 2020, they only offered a new entry-level silver model with M1. They totally left the higher-end model on Intel.. 8th generation Intel. Which… is great if you want a free built-in space heater and coffee warmer with your mini, but not so great if you want some M1 Pro or M1 Max level performance.
Enter an all-new Mac mini Pro, at least if Apple decides to go all in on that branding. Still 6 to 5 and pick’em what happens there. But reports do say a new, smaller design and way newer, better chip set. Up to 10 CPU cores, 32 GPU cores, and 64 GB of memory, as well as a third USB and third thunderbolt controller for even more ports and to support even more displays. Basically everything every Pro currently trying to fit into the M1 mini has been fantasizing about for the last year or more. To just giving the Pros more.
Now, there have been rumors of an iMac-style taste the skittles rainbow of colors as well, but my guess is this model sticks to shades of gray, but then the same or similar design gets carried over to the next round of consumer mini updates with the M2 chipset.
So the only other question is whether or not there’ll be a dual die M1 Max option for the mini, to really just blow the doors off the server farm, or whether Apple will reserve that for the big Mac Pro switch coming later this year?
Less likely but still possible:
iMac Pro, again whether Apple leans fully into the Pro brand or not, would be the 24-inch iMac from last April, digivolved to its final 27-inch form. Including M1 Pro and M1 Max options. Maybe even with extra core or extra die options for that full on pro-level flex. Basically everything the 2017 iMac Pro was but without the near nuclear Intel Xeon chipset and SHIELD Hellicarrier-class cooling system that came along with it.
Mini LED display for close to OLED inky levels of black and ridiculous bursts of highlights for those HDR workflows. And a nano-texture option like the 2020 iMac non-Pro got, for anyone annoyed by any level of in-studio glare. But probably not Target Display. That mode seems to have gone the way of the DoDo, but at least we have AirPlay and even Universal Control now. Along with all the those additional pro ports. Black bezels, maybe silver and space gray options or, hey, can we get a matte black? That would look great with a chin if Apple really wants to keep that distinctive iMac style, but even better without one if Apple’s finally ready to give it a shave like the iPhone and iPad got, and make it indistinguishable from a pure display?
I can’t frakking wait for it. But since it was originally rumored for last year, and then for this spring, but now rumors are pointing to WWDC at the earliest, I’m only going to expect it when I see it.
Same with iPad 10, whose model numbers are popping up all of a sudden in all the most unexpected places. Now, it’s definitely the most perennial of Apple’s old device, new internals strategy. And, yes, Apple did only just release the iPad 9 last September. So another update after just 6 months sure seems unlikely. Buuuuut… Apple also famously — or infamously — announced iPad 3 in March of 2012 only to replaced it with iPad 4 in October of the same year. So, never say never.
The iPad 4 solved some real problems with the iPad 3 and added Lightning. iPad 9 doesn’t have any real problems, but could adding 5G be at all pressing? Because the only other speculations are of the spec bump kind — an A14 processor like the iPhone 12, and that maybe, just maybe, it’ll go up from a 10.2 to 10.5-inch display, which the Pro hand-me-downed to the Air in 2019, but the Air hasn’t worn now is well over a year, ever since it went Home buttonless. Would that be worth a quicker re-up for you?
Then there are the unlikelies… Including the long rumored M2 MacBook Air redesign, as well as an M2 in the new MacBook Pro enclosure to replace the 13-inch with a more modern entry-level. Also, M2 in the iPad Pro, maybe along with MagSafe, which Apple updated the two springs now in a row, but now sounds like they may be going back to the 18 month cycle and waiting for the fall.
There are also some rumors about new Apple displays, including a new 32-inch Pro Display XDR, but also 24 and 27-inch non-Pro variants, possibly with custom Apple silicon all their own. But that may be more of a WWDC thing, along with a teaser of the long-anticipated Apple Silicon Mac Pro. Hey, a nerd can dream.
I have in-depth previews up for all of that, and much much more, with no ads, no sponsors, and sometimes with bonus or extended content, like my recent chat with Apple Silicon, Mac, and Privacy execs. Also, exclusive and original videos, including a new Studio Tour series where I’m going through everything I use to make my videos. Cameras up already, audio coming up next, and much, much more. Because, on Nebula, I have the luxury of making videos that don’t have to be optimized for YouTube but where I just know the nerdiest, most hard core of you will absolutely love them.