Apple just wrapped up its Peek Performance special event. Held on March 8, this was the first of Apple’s 2022 events, and it included what has been one of the most eagerly anticipated new products of the year: the iPhone SE 3. However, that was just part of the new hardware showed off on stage. As is often the case, the company also had some surprises, including the first all-new Mac model in years and a matching monitor that’s optimized for remote working. Here’s everything that Apple announced today.
iPhone SE 3
The iPhone SE was first released in 2016 and marked Apple’s first mid-range smartphone. For those who didn’t have the budget or need for a flagship device, having a more affordable iPhone was a big win. The iPhone SE was incredibly popular and Apple launched the followup iPhone SE 2 in 2020.
The all new iPhone SE 3 is a huge leap forward, adding 5G compatibility to Apple’s most budget-friendly iPhone along with a powerful A15 Bionic processor (the same chip as the iPhone 13). The 12MP camera combined with A15 Bionic chip provides a big photography upgrade, with Deep Fusion capability. Battery life is also improved, with the new model gaining up to two hours of additional video playback time, or an additional 10 hours of audio playback.
The iPhone SE 3 keeps the same form factor and 4.7-inch display as the previous generation with midnight (black), starlight (white) or Product Red colour options.
If you’re looking for an upgrade to the speed of 5G wireless, the iPhone SE 3 looks pretty tempting.
In 2020, Apple gave the iPad Air a full redesign, including an iPad Pro-inspired flat-edge case, new colour options, USB-C, Apple Pencil 2 support, improved cameras, and a Touch ID power button that eliminated the Home button for an all-screen design.
This year, Apple is upgrading the iPad Air’s performance in a big way, switching from the A-series mobile chips to the mighty Apple M1 processor (read about the M1 here). This gives it a 60% performance boost and over twice the graphics speed of the previous generation model. If you choose a cellular model, it now offers 5G capability.
The iPad Air’s FaceTime ID webcam now supports Apple’s Center Stage feature to keep you in the center of the frame for an improved video chat experience. It also gets a new purple colour option.
Last fall, Apple unveiled its newest M1 chips, the M1 Max and M1 Pro. If you thought those chips represented the ultimate in M1 series performance, Apple has news for you.
Today, the company showed off the most powerful M1 series chip to date: the M1 Ultra. The 20-core M1 Ultra has 114 billion transistors and supports up to 128GB of unified memory. Apple says it delivers seven times the performance of the original M1 chip making it a killer option for pro users.
Mac Studio and Studio Monitor
No Apple event is complete without a surprise, and Apple had two big ones to show off. First up, the company unannounced an all-new Mac model today and guess what? You can configure it with that new M1 Ultra processor!
The new Mac Studio is an ultra-compact (19.6 cm square and 10 cm tall), high performance desktop PC, made from a single chunk of recycled aluminum. It looks something like a Mac mini, but taller and with thousands of tiny holes for airflow. It is loaded with the ports professionals need including four USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 10Gb Ethernet, a pair of USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and an SD card slot.
The Mac Studio can be powered with a variety of M1 chips, including that new M1 Ultra. In that configuration, it is nearly four times faster than the fastest 27-inch iMac with a 10-core Intel Core i9 processor. Graphics? With the M1 Ultra, this computer can play 18 simultaneous 8K ProRes video streams without skipping a beat. Or connect up to five displays. That is extremely impressive. What’s a little scary about this is that Apple has yet to unveil a new Mac Pro … If the Mac Studio can do this, just imagine what’s coming when Apple replaces its professional desktop Mac.
The second surprise announcement? Apple is continuing its return to the monitor game with an offering designed to perfectly pair with the Mac Studio. The new Studio Monitor matches the look of the Mac Studio, with an aluminum, all-screen, 27-inch, 5K Retina display.
It is also equipped with an A13 Bionic chip, a 12MP Ultra-wide FaceTime HD camera with Center Stage support, a studio-quality three mic array, and six speakers (including two woofers) with Spatial Audio. This makes the monitor ideal for videoconferencing and remote work. It also acts as a USB hub, with three USB-C ports. With those kind of specs, the Studio Monitor is not really aimed at consumers, but it can be used with any Mac system, not just the Mac Studio.
There are several stand options including a tilt and height-adjustable version and a VESA mount. Nano-texture glass is also available as an option. Apple also released black versions of its Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad to complement the new display.
New iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro colours
If you’ve been waiting to buy a new iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro, they are now available in a new colour: the iPhone 13 (green) and iPhone 13Pro (alpine green). Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!
The new products announced by Apple at the Peek Performance event will be available at Best Buy based on their Canadian release dates. You can pre-order the new M1-powered iPad Air here starting March 11, and the green iPhone 13 models here. The new 5G iPhone SE is also available for pre-order starting March 11. Be sure to check the Apple page for all all the latest product releases, including new iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Macs.