- Sean Keach, Technology and Science Editor
- 19:01, 8 Mar 2022
- Updated: 19:09, 8 Mar 2022
APPLE unleashed a flurry of new gadgets TODAY at a special event in California.
The live-streamed showcase featured a cheap new iPhone SE 3, a new 5G iPad Air, and two new green colour options for the iPhone 13.
Apple showed off its powerful new M1 Ultra chip, and confirmed it would be available inside the Mac Studio desktop computer.
And there’s a new Studio Display monitor to go with it too.
Despite rumours of a “peek” at a VR headset, Apple declined to show us any hi-tech eyewear.
Now we’ll have to wait until Apple’s WWDC event in June – and the big iPhone launch in September – for more exciting gadgets.
Here are the key links:
- New iPhone SE 3 announced with must-have upgrade
- Two new iPhone colours available this week
- Huge iPad Air refresh with a surprising trick
- Super-speedy new Mac Studio announced – with a special gadget to go with it
Read our Apple event live blog below for the latest updates…
THAT’S A WRAP!
And we’re done. Apple has finished unveiling products.
We got a new iPhone SE with 5G (and two new colours for the iPhone 13).
There’s an iPad Air with 5G, and a powerful new M1 Ultra chip.
That chip will power the new Mac Studio, and there’s a slick Studio Display monitor to go with it.
There was no “peek” at a VR headset as rumoured. But that only makes a reveal later this year seem more likely.
That’s it from me – thanks for following along with the blog. See you at the next one!
So what’s the bill, here?
For the Mac Studio with an M1 Max chip, you’re looking at $1,999.
And for the M1 Ultra version, you’ll pay a whopping $3,999. Ouch!
Chuck in a Studio Display and you’re looking at an additional $1,599.
Both products are available to order today, and will be on sale on March 18.
Now we’re learning more about the new Apple Studio Display.
It’s got a flexible stand that lets you tilt the screen up to 30 degrees.
There’s also a height-adjustable stand option.
It’s got a 27-inch screen offering 14.7million pixels – which makes it “a 5K Retina display”.
You get a P3 wide colour gamut (so visuals will be accurately represented), and upwards of 500 nits of brightness.
Apple says the image quality is “outstanding”.
The screen itself is even fitted with an iPhone-grade A13 Bionic chip inside.
This helps power some features like the 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera on the front.
There’s a six-speaker sound system built in, too.
With Mac Studio and the M1 Ultra, you get 60-90% better CPU performance than Mac Pro, and 80% faster GPU performance even with the top Mac Pro graphics spec.
It can support up to 8TB of SSD storage capacity, and 128GB of unified memory.
Basically, it’s ultra rapid and capable.
This is a true workhorse that will tempt pro users the world over.
The Mac Mini is small – small enough to fit under most computer monitors, anyway.
There’s a new thermal system to keep the supercharged gadget cool.
Apple says it’s so quiet “you’ll barely even hear it”, even under heavy workloads.
It’s got a load of connectivity on the back, including four Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, ethernet, HDMI, USB, a pro audio jack and more.
And WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 are built in as well.
There are two more Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports on the front, as well as an SD card.
You can even support up to four Retina XDR displays plus a 4K TV, driving around 90million pixels, with the Mac Studio. Impressive.
Apple says the new M1 Ultra is going to turn up in a new product…
…the Mac Studio.
It’s more powerful than the Mac Mini and even the iMac, according to Apple.
Apple also hopes you’ll buy the new Studio Display with it too.
FAST, FASTER, FASTEST!
So how fast is the M1 Ultra chip?
This Mac processor contains 114billion transistors – tiny electronic switches that allow computing to happen.
That’s vastly more than any M1 chip to date, meaning we can expect serious computing performance.
Apple says it provides “industry-leading performance”.
It’s currently unclear exactly how much faster than previous M1 chips. But based on Apple’s descriptions, it sounds like…a lot.
Out of nowhere, Apple has unveiled a brand new M-series chip.
It’s called the M1 Ultra, and it’s the most powerful of Apple’s own chips yet.
Apple has only been making PC-grade chips for a couple of years, with great success.
Now the M1 Ultra joins the M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max.
MAC IT HAPPEN
Now Tim is moving on to the Mac.
He’s talking about the successes of previous models.
But we’re expecting some new gadgets imminently.
Here’s a good look at the iPad Air.
It comes in Space Grey, Starlight, Pink, Purple and Blue colour options.
The iPad Air starts at $599, but will rise with the cellular option or increased storage.
There are 64GB and 256GB configurations, available to pre-order from Friday.
And it’s on sale on March 18.
Apple has also upgraded the iPad Air with 5G.
That means you’ll be able to get super-fast 5G internet – potentially.
You’ll also need to pay for the cellular iPad Air model, and get a 5G SIM contract.
And you’ll need to make sure you’re living in an area with 5G network coverage.
But it’s great news, and will definitely tempt some tech fans.
The iPad Air now supports Centre Stage.
It’s an Apple feature borrowed from the iPad Pro.
When you FaceTime, the camera will follow you (and your friends or family) around as you move.
It means you stay in focus and central to the camera.
The iPad Air is getting a HUGE power upgrade.
It’s using the MacBook-grade M1 chip that has blown tech fans away already.
The chip was even introduced to the iPad Pro, with ludicrous performance results.
This will make the iPad Air truly exceptional for its price when it comes to performance.
Tim is now moving on to the iPad Air.
He says the new model takes performance “to the next level”.
THE PRICE IS…WRONG!
The iPhone SE price has risen slightly – against expectations.
It’s still very cheap at $429, but that’s slightly higher than the previous $399.
This price rise may be linked to the 5G integration or the new A15 chip.
The new iPhone SE 3 comes in Midnight, Starlight and Product Red colour options.
It’s got a 4.7-inch Retina HD display and a Touch ID, and looks very much like an iPhone 8.
Apple says battery life is significantly improved thanks to the A15 chip.
But most importantly, the new iPhone SE supports super-fast 5G internet.
This is a great budget option for people who want to upgrade to 5G.
SE IS HERE!
There’s a new iPhone SE – it’s official!
The new model was heavily rumoured, but is finally here.
It’s Apple’s cheapest iPhone, and comes with several upgrades over the 2020 model.
For instance, it’s powered by the same A15 Bionic chip you’ll find in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.
That means it’s seriously quick.
TASTE THE RAINBOW
Apple has introduced two new colours for its iPhone 13.
There’s a “bold new green” that actually looks impressive.
And the Pro version comes in a new alpine green.
They’re available to pre-order this Friday.
As expected, Apple boss Tim Cook is now on stage.
He kicks off things by saying he’s been watching a lot of Apple TV+ at home.
And Tim is talking up some of the Netflix rival’s original shows.
IT’S GO TIME
We’re now just minutes away from the Apple event.
Expect to hear from Apple chief exec Tim Cook.
He’ll probably start off by giving an update on the year.
And he may make reference to the ongoing war in Ukraine (and its humanitarian crisis), given how newsy it as the moment.
Apple has already taken some action by pausing product sales in Russia over the invasion.
After Tim’s intro, we can expect to see a flurry of new gadgets.
What else is new today? An iPad, maybe!
Apple’s iPad is now more than a decade old, and it’s clearly here to stay.
This time around we’re expecting Apple to unveil a new version of the iPad Air.
It was previously refreshed back in 2020 with an iPad Pro style design.
We’re likely to see a more powerful A15 Bionic processor (to match the iPad mini) and probably 5G too.
I spoke to PP Foresight analyst and Apple expert Paolo Pescatore, who gave me a few last-minute predictions for today…
“Promises to be another action packed event which may include even a few surprises with Apple showcasing key products underlining the company’s broad portfolio.
“A new iPhone SE is inevitable. The story here will be support for 5G making it the most affordable iPhone in the portfolio. This will help drive uptake for Apple and most importantly for carriers.
“Watch out for new, refresh hardware (specifically with the iPad and Mac businesses) with a focus on better performance. Expect Apple Silicon to feature prominently.
“It feels like Apple will have a broad portfolio of devices to cater for users individual requirements; that is an enviable position in the eyes of rivals.
“We are now seeing Apple flex its muscles by leveraging the fruits of its own silicon across its portfolio. The M1 and M2 will transform its products, form factors and capabilities far beyond what users can do today.
“An update on services is overdue and this represents an opportune moment to showcase new blockbusters and offerings.”
Apple’s official livestream is now live on its website.
That means we’re a matter of minutes away from the big event.
Expect fun music and animations in the meantime.
IN THE STUDIO
We’re also hearing talk of some other Mac products.
One is a device being tipped as the Mac Studio, which would be like a crossover of the Mac mini and Mac Pro.
It’s expected that they’ll feature a newer M chip – possibly the M1 Pro or M1 Max, currently only seen in the MacBook Pro.
And we could also see a Studio Display.
This is a rumoured 27-inch 5K monitor that would go along with the Mac Studio.
It’s expected to be more reasonably priced than the $5,000 Pro Studio XDR display that Apple launched a few years ago.
If Apple does announce a new MacBook tonight, you’ll be hearing a lot about the M chip.
Apple previously used Intel chips in its laptops.
But it recently started shifting to its own custom chips – named the Apple M1.
It already does this with iPhones (and the A chips), giving it better control over the system – and allowing for exceptional power and efficiency.
The M1 chip (and its Pro and Max variants) have staggered the tech world, producing impressive performance and battery life.
Since their launch in November 2020, they’ve entered a host of Mac products – and even an iPad.
Now we’re expecting the possible debut of the M2, which could usher in even more computing heft.