What to expect from Apple’s Peek Performance event (plus some thoughts)
Apple's first event of 2022 will take place early Wednesday morning (9 March) at 2am. It’s called Peek Performance and thanks to rumours and leaks, we have a pretty good idea of what Apple will be unveiling.
Third-generation iPhone SE
At this point, a new iPhone SE looks like a sure-fire bet. The current-generation iPhone SE is already two-years-old and in need of an update to keep it competitive, or at least an attractive enough proposition. We are not expecting any design changes but the new phone is expected to support 5G and a new chip.
Some might lament the lack of a new design, which is understandable given that the current iPhone SE’s design actually dates back to the iPhone 6 from – gasp – 2014. But on the other hand, what do you expect from Apple’s entry-level offering? It’s all about maximising profits. Those hoping for a swankier-looking entry-level should perhaps consider an iPhone 12 or 11 series phone.
If the new iPhone SE gets the A15 Bionic processor as expected, it will still be a mighty proposition. That’s still the most powerful processor you can get in a phone, and should easily last buyers a good number of years before it starts to show its age.
A new iPad Air
Like the iPhone SE, the current-generation iPad Air was released in 2020 and is due for an update.
It was and remains to be one of Apple’s best iPads. However, it could use an updated processor with 5G support, and perhaps an improved front camera with Apple’s new Centre Stage feature. Face ID would obviously be a nice feature to have, but I’m not holding my breath for it. In all likelihood, expect the new iPad Air to be a larger version of the iPad Mini that was released last year. That’s no bad thing really because the iPad Mini is excellent.
Am I reading too much into the invite? Because the multi-coloured Apple logo makes me think that Apple will also take the opportunity to announce new Macs.
The most likely new Macs they will announce is an updated Mac Mini and a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro. Word on the street is that the updated Mac Mini would be identical to the current-generation one except that it will be available with Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips – from their newest 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros. As for the entry-level MacBook Pro, it is believed that will feature a new M2 chip.
Both rumours are plausible. For the Mac Mini, Apple will have no problems stuffing the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips into it since the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros are much more compromised environments. Getting it to work in a proper desktop – albeit a very compact one – should be a walk in the park. As for a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, that’s equally likely too since the new M2 chip is not believed to be a huge jump from the current generation M1 chip.
As for the rumoured redesigned MacBook Air? I believe Apple will want to reserve it for later this year. The MacBook Air is one of their most important Macs and not many will begrudge an all-new MacBook Air the limelight.
A new external display
Just yesterday, there was a new rumour that Apple might announce a new “affordable” external display. If you discount the ultra-high-end and super pricey Pro Display XDR, that would be the company’s first external display since the Apple Thunderbolt Display – discontinued in 2016.
Word on the street is that it will be called the “Apple Studio Display” and that it will have a 7K resolution. Rumours also say that the display has been completed “months ago” and that Apple was only waiting for an opportune time to announce them. This week’s event would provide just that, especially if they announce new Macs too. Furthermore, Apple is calling this week’s event “Peek Performance” – peek, get it?
Kenny Yeo / Associate Editor
Specifications are not everything. It's what you do with what you have that matters.