Apple's first major media event of 2022 has just concluded, and there were a surprising number of big announcements. A new iPhone, new Macs, new iPad, and a new professional monitor--and the year isn't even a quarter over! You can watch it here, or read on for our summary of what was announced.
iPhone SE 3
Let's go straight to the new iPhone SE, since I'm going to guess that most of you are more interested in that than anything else. To answer the big question: yes, it still uses Touch ID, and yes, it's still about the size and shape of an iPhone 8. Now, let's go over the details.
Despite being similar to an iPhone 8 in appearance, the new SE sports Apple's A15 Bionic chip. This is the same as is used in iPhone 13, so you're not missing out on any performance. You're also not being left out of the 5G cellular world, as the SE has support for 5G. That said, not all 5G bands are supported. Oh, and the glass is as tough as the glass on the back of iPhone 13, making it less likely that your precious phone will break if dropped.
Given all these features, why would anyone get an iPhone 13 ever again? Well, the SE form factor does lack a few things. First, while the battery life is better than that of the SE 2, it's still not quite on par with Apple's flagship devices. Second, the screen remains at 4.7 inches with the large forehead and chin of the iPhone 8 design, which not everyone is into. Third, the cameras aren't as good, though they should still be more than adequate for OCR work. There are other trade-offs, such as a lack of MagSafe. Still, if you want Touch ID and don't mind giving up some battery life and a few other things to get it, the new SE is a great option. The latest Apple processor means this device will get iOS updates for years, the glass on the back lets you charge it wirelessly, and the rest of the hardware will be more than enough for many people.
The new iPhone SE comes in Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red. It starts at $429 for the 64GB version. And did I mention that it has Touch ID? It has Touch ID!
iPad Air 5
Before we move away from the mobile products, we have to talk about the fifth generation iPad Air. Surprisingly, it now uses the same M1 chip found in the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and low-spec MacBook Pro. This brings the Air in line with the iPad Pro, which was updated to use the M1 chip in 2021. The M1 will, if Apple is correct, offer up to 60% more performance than the A14 chip found in the previous Air.
That's the big feature here. The only other notable changes are the inclusion of an ultrawide front camera, letting the new Air support Apple's Center Stage video conferencing feature, and support for 5G cellular networks.
iPad Air starts at $599 for 64GB of storage, with the option to bump that to 256GB (no, there's no 128GB option). Your color choices are Starlight, blue, space gray, pink, and purple.
There's a new Apple desktop, and it's called Mac Studio. It's the same square shape as a Mac Mini (7.7 inches per side), but is around twice as thick. It offers a lot of connectivity options, such as USB, SD cards, professional audio jack, and more. At its heart is an M1 processor.
The low end configuration uses the M1 Max, which is the top-of-the-line chip available for MacBook Pro. This chip already beats out many Mac Pro machines, or so Apple claims, but the story doesn't end there. The high end of the Mac Studio lineup uses a new processor, the M1 Ultra.
The M1 Ultra is, basically, two M1 Max processors stuck together. It has sixteen performance cores and four efficiency cores, with up to 64 video cores. Thanks to the expanded bandwidth from the two processors, it can support up to 128GB of ram. Apple says it has almost eight times the performance of the basic M1 chip, and is able to easily outstrip just about any configuration of the Mac Pro.
To accompany this new desktop, Apple released the Mac Studio Display, a monitor so advanced they stuck an iPhone CPU in it. This 27-inch, 5K display has extremely accurate colors. The glass has an anti-glare treatment, which can be enhanced with a nano texturing process for an extra fee. You can choose from two stands, or use vesa to mount it to third-party stands or arms (I think--it has vesa, but I don't know for sure that it works with all vesa mounts).
Why mention a display here on AppleVis, though? I usually skip over the entirely visual stuff, given our audience. Well, here's the cool part: this display includes speakers, microphones, and a camera, which is where that A13 processor comes in. The Studio Display sports the same ultrawide camera found in modern iPads, bringing Center Stage to the Mac for the first time. It also has six speakers and an array of high-quality microphones. Handling the camera Ai and sound is an A13 Bionic chip, which was used in iPhones and iPads just a few years ago. There are even a few USB ports, letting you connect to the monitor instead of the computer. The whole thing can be fed power and data by a single cable, thanks to Thunderbolt.
Apple clearly intends these two products to go together. In fact, they've discontinued the 27-inch iMac, at least for now. The new display should work with other Macs, of course, but pair it with a Mac Studio and you have a true powerhouse for image or video work, or just about anything else you might need to do.
Mac Studio starts at $1999 with the M1 Max, and $3999 with the M1 Ultra. The Studio Display is $1599, with optional upgrades like the fancier mount or the nano coating on the glass.
That was it. Okay, iPhone 13 is now offered in green, and Apple TV Plus is streaming a couple exclusive baseball games every Friday, but we've covered everything else. There's a new iPhone SE, iPad Air is using the M1 processor, and the new Mac Studio desktop runs the M1 Max or the all-new M1 Ultra for amazing performance. The new Studio Display rounds out the announcements, with a high-quality, 5K panel, Center Stage camera support, and great-sounding microphones and speakers built in.
Did anything peek your interest? I imagine many of us are excited about the update to iPhone SE, and I can see some iPad users looking forward to the new iPad Air. Do you plan to get the Mac Studio? What about the new display?