Apple product launches are rarely low-key, and the Apple March 8 Peek Performance event launched a lot of new products on Tuesday.
The iPhone SE 3 has been announced with A15 Bionic power, 5G and several camera upgrades, and there's a new iPad Air 5 with M1 might. For power users, Apple has announced the new Mac Studio computer with a blazing M1 Ultra chip that basically gives you two chips in one. And there's a new Apple Studio Display with 5K resolution and a lower price than the Pro XDR, although it's still pricey.
Though the event is now over, there's still plenty of news dripping out about the new products, so keep this page bookmarked for the latest info plus our expert analysis and opinion.
Apple Event announcements
iPhone SE 3: The iPhone SE 3 (2022) features the same A15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 13 lineup, and it adds 5G connectivity. Ceramic Shield front and back. Cost is $429. But there's also a couple of surprise iPhone SE 3 drawbacks.
iPad Air 5: The iPad Air is getting Apple's M1 chip for much better performance, along with 5G connectivity. And it supports the Magic keyboard. Starts at $599.
Mac Studio: Think of the Mac Studio as a supercharged Mac mini with a M1 Max chip or even more powerful new M1 Ultra chip, offering 3.8x more power than the iMac 27-inch. Starts at $1,999.
Apple Studio Display: There's a new Apple Studio Display. It's a 27-inch panel with 5K resolution and 600 nits of brightness, plus a 12MP camera and powerful speaker system. Starts at $1,599.
Apple M1 Ultra chip: This new super chip packs a 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU and 32-core Neural Engine. And there's up to 128GB of unified memory. The chip will be an option in the Mac Studio for the $3,999 configuration, and the first Apple M1 Ultra benchmarks show off awesome power for this beefy new slice of Apple silicon.
Also, quietly, Apple killed the 27-inch iMac, making the Studio Display the only 27-inch panel in Apple's lineup.
Good morning and welcome to Tom's Guide's live blog for today's Peek Performance Apple event. Marc McLaren here in the U.K. kicking things off, with various staffers taking over as the day goes on.
Follow it live with us here for all of the latest news and speculation in the run-up to the event, and of course for all of the announcements as they happen from 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. GMT.
So what can we expect to see today? Lots! We've got a list of the likely candidates above, but for another perspective on today's Apple event, senior writer Kate Kozuch prepared a quick TikTok summary of all the potential products Apple could show off.
(Like what you see? Go to the Tom's Guide channel on TikTok and click that follow button.)
So let's delve into some of the specifics around what could be released at today's Apple event. We'll start with smartphones.
If you think back to the Apple event from the spring of 2021, you'll recall that Apple just didn't release new products then — it also updated some of its existing devices. Specifically, Apple introduced a purple iPhone 12 model a year ago, updating the iPhone lineup it had rolled out in the fall.
Could history repeat itself in 2022? Some Apple observers think so, with the possibility of a dark green iPhone 13 joining Apple's phone lineup being dangled as a potential announcement today. That claim and the above renders come from Luke Miani, who also thinks a purple iPad Air is on tap for today.
One phone we very much expect to see revealed at today's Apple event is the iPhone SE 3 (2022). There have been so many rumors about it that we can be pretty sure about lots of details — but there are still a few questions to answer.
The most recent predictions come from the respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who tweeted about the phone's storage and colors a few days. Kuo says the iPhone SE 3 (2022) will come in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB version, and white, black and red.
He also says the design will be similar to that of the existing iPhone SE — which doesn't surprise us at all.
Sticking with the iPhone SE 3, one of the key questions we want answering is how much it will cost. The current iPhone SE will set you back $399, making it a cheap phone compared to flagships and indeed compared to rivals such as the $449 Google Pixel 5a.
But at least one analyst thinks Apple could go cheaper still, offering the iPhone SE 3 (2022) for as little as $300. That would be huge news if true — so we'll be listening out for the price announcement just as eagerly as we will the spec details.
A price drop would be big news for the iPhone SE 3, and the fact that it should get an upgrade to 5G plus the A15 Bionic chip is also welcome.
However, the rumors suggest the iPhone SE 3 will stick with an outdated design that's based on the iPhone 8 — and one Tom's Guide editor is pretty unhappy about that.
Let's move away from phones and talk about a different category — namely tablets. Or rather, as this is Apple, iPads.
The most likely new entry in Apple's iPad range is the iPad Air 5. We hadn't necessarily expected it to arrive this month, given that the iPad Air 2020 made its debut in October of that year, but there are plenty of rumors that we will see the new model today. Plus, the 3rd-gen iPad Air did launch in March 2019, so there is a precedent for it to be revealed today.
There's certainly good reason to think the iPad Air 5 will be revealed today. Back in February, trusted Apple watcher Mark Gurman tipped the new tablet to arrive at an event on March 8. The fact that Apple subsequently announced its Peek Performance event for that exact day gives a lot of credibility to the details in Gurman's report.
And there are plenty of other rumors that back it up — for instance leaker Evan Blass shared an image (above) from an unnamed Asian mobile carrier, reportedly of a product page for the new device.
So let's say the iPad Air 5 does launch today — what upgrades do we expect it to have? After all, the last model arrived less than 18 months ago, and in our iPad Air (2020) review we described it as "one of the best tablets ever."
Well, a new chipset seems like a given. We had thought it might get Apple's A15 Bionic — along with 5G connectivity. However, a last-minute leak from sources speaking to 9to5Mac has instead tipped the iPad Air 5 to come with Apple's M1 chip.
If true, that's absolutely huge news, as the M1 offers 50% faster performance than the A15 and could also have a huge (and positive) impact on battery life. Fingers crossed for this one.
One other rumor around the iPad Air 5 is that it will get an OLED display, but this now seems unlikely.
Though a report from DigiTimes claimed Apple was working on a 10.9-inch tablet with an OLED screen — which would tally with the Air — subsequent reports from The Elec and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo instead say that won't happen "due to costs and performance not meeting the company's expectations." So while we'll watch with interest, we'd be surprised if Apple unveiled an OLED-sporting iPad Air 5 today.
While the iPad Air seems like a lock to get an update today, it's not the only iPad in Apple's lineup that we could be getting a new version of. There is a chance that the iPad Pro sees an update, though this one feels less likely than the iPad Air does.
The main argument for Apple updating the iPad Pro today is that Apple always seems to have a new version of the high-end tablet ready in the spring. After all, last year's spring event included an iPad Pro as part of the proceedings.
Whether it shows up today or later this year, analysts expect the next 11-inch iPad Pro to adopt the mini-LED screen Apple added to the 12.9-inch model last year (pictured above). Additionally, there's the possibility that Apple could turn to the new M2 silicon to power its Pro tablets.
Truth be told, we haven't heard many rumors about the iPad Pro in the buildup to the Peek Performance event, so it could be possible that Apple holds off on an announcement, keeping its iPad Pro powder dry until June's Worldwide Developer Conference.
Let's pivot back to the iPhone SE 3 (2022) again for a second, as there's an interesting new rumor about that phone.
According to a user on the Korean blog Naver, via Macrumors, the iPhone SE 3 will be MagSafe-compatible and will also come with Apple's Ceramic Shield technology on the front. It was also reportedly have "significantly" better battery life.
The MagSafe part is interesting right away, as we'd previously heard that it wouldn't get that feature — though we weren't unduly worried. As far as the battery goes, the Naver user says the improvements come from the iPhone SE 3 having the latest A15 Bionic chip, which would make sense. Let's hope this is all true.
We've just published a report that Apple could launch a new Mac Studio today, which Bloomberg's Mark Gurman is calling a cross between a smaller Mac Pro and a more powerful Mac mini. Plus, Gurman says a new Apple Studio Display is ready to go.
Apple is widely expected to unveil its new M2 chip today at the Apple event. But how is it different? According to a recent tip by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has been testing multiple Macs with the new M2 chip that includes an 8-core CPU with 4 efficiency cores and 4 high-performance cores, plus 10 GPU cores.
This would be a jump up in 8 GPU cores in the M1 chip, and Apple could also dial up the speed of the high-performance cores. The M2 chip could appear in a number of devices, including a new Mac mini 2022, entry-level MacBook Pro 2022 and more.
Get the inside story. Watch a special #AppleEvent today at 10 a.m. PST.March 8, 2022
Apple is spinning up the hype machine with a quick Twitter tease ahead of the Apple Event today at 1 pm ET/ 11 am PT. Apple says "get the inside story," so we're guessing that's referring to the new Apple silicon inside the new products, including the A15 Bionic for the iPhone SE and the new M2 chip for a possible range of new Macs.
Pro tip! 👂 🎶 Use the TV App on iPhone/iPad/Mac/Apple TV with AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or recent MacBook Pro speakers and you’ll be able to hear the #AppleEvent in Spatial Audio! pic.twitter.com/o31iB352IOMarch 7, 2022
Here's a great tip from Rene Ritchie on Twitter. If you want to hear today's Apple Event in Spatial Audio, just use the TV App on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. It's not the same as being there live (well, no one can be there live) but it will definitely feel more immersive.
Hold up. A last-minute iPhone SE 3 rumor says that the new cheap iPhone could get MagSafe charging, which refutes earlier reports. A user on the blog Naver has tipped this news, and also says that the iPhone SE 3 2022 will get a Ceramic Shield display for better durability and "significantly" improved battery life. This is all welcome news, especially if the price stays under $400.
We have more info about a possible Mac Studio computer. As reported by MacRumors via the Korean blog Naver, the new Mac Studio is primarily based on the Mac mini, but with more powerful hardware. "Apple is working on two versions of the Mac Studio: the same M1 Max chip as the 2021 MacBook Pro, and an upgraded version of the Apple Silicon chip that is more powerful than the current M1 Max chip."
The leaker says the Mac Studio name may change, but it "represents a new category for professional users between Mac mini and Mac Pro." So we would expect a premium price tag. The current Mac mini M1 starts at $699.
Right on cue the Apple Store is temporarily down as Apple stocks all the new products expected to be announced today at the Apple event. And there could be a lot of new items popping up, ranging from the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 to a new Mac Studio and Apple Studio display.
We're now less confident in a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air showing up with an M2 chip, but anything could happen.
It's #AppleEvent day! Like this tweet for a surprise pic.twitter.com/xWTBNL7eD6March 8, 2022
Here's a mildly amusing way to kill some time before the Apple event starts. If you like tweets like this with the Apple event logo you'll see a fun animation. This one comes from 9to5Mac.
Apple announces their March #AppleEvent and here is what you can expect.📱iPhone SE📱iPad Air💻 MacBook Air💻 MacBook Pro🖥 Mac mini📱New iPhone Cases⌚️New Apple Watch Bands📆 March 8th⏰ 11:30 am IST❤️ if you’re excited. pic.twitter.com/otJHPbjITSMarch 8, 2022
Could Apple be unveiling 5 new products today or more? According to the Twitter account Tech Recevent, the following is on tap. A new iPhone SE, iPad Air, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini. Plus, the account says to expect new iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands.
That's a lot for one event, and that doesn't even include the recently rumored Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. Regardless, prepare for a lot of announcements.
If you're wondering how to watch the Apple event, there are plenty of options. This includes the Apple website and the Apple TV app through a wide array of Apple devices. You can also use Apple's YouTube channel.
Let's talk about the rumored Apple Studio Display. According to 9to5Mac, it packs a very impressive 7K resolution. The current Pro Display XDR has a 6K panel for a 32-incher. But the new Apple Studio Display could stretch 36 inches. What's not clear is whether this display will launch today at the Apple Event, though Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says it is a distinct possibility.
Our 5 wildest guesses of what could be announced at today's #AppleEvent1. Foldable iPhone2. Smart AR glasses 3. A new Apple TV Plus series, preferably starring Steve Buscemi4. A keyboard case for the iPad mini (please!!!)5. HomePod sound barMarch 8, 2022
Hey, there's nothing wrong with very wild guesses for things that could be announced today at the Apple event. Some have speculated that the Apple AR/VR headset could make its first appearance today based on the teaser for the Apple event.
I don't think a foldable iPhone is happening anytime soon, but we could definitely see a new Apple TV Plus series unveiled during the event. A HomePod sound bar sounds like fun and could maybe give Apple an answer to the Sonos Arc. Spatial Audio without headphones? It could happen.
A little late, but my #PeekPerformance #AppleEvent Bingo is here!Retweets appreciated! Please don’t share without linking here. pic.twitter.com/SJMB85ZvviMarch 7, 2022
It's time for Apple Event bingo! Well, almost. Twitter leaker Dylan @DylanMcD8 has posted a fun (and very colorful) Apple Event bingo card with all sorts of possibilities for today's festivities.
The options range from the rumored Studio Display and Another MacBook Gets a Notch to mention of Ukraine and a New color (presumably for the iPhone 13). My favorite is "Apple removes something and calls it a feature."
Is it me or does it fell like the iPhone SE 3 apologists are already coming out of the woodwork before the phone is announced? Today CNET has report that cites CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood, who says that "Not every Apple purchaser feels like they need to have the absolute cutting edge. They just want an iPhone."
That's true, but if the rumors are accurate Apple will be sticking with the same 4.7-inch display size two years after the iPhone SE 2020. Meanwhile, the Google PIxel 5a has a 6.34-inch display, which is much more mainstream at this point. I know the iPhone SE 3 is tipped for other welcome upgrades, such as 5G and A15 Bionic power, but I'd like to see a larger screen as well.
One of today's rumors is that Apple will roll out a new iPhone 13 spring color, just as it did with the purple iPhone 12 last spring. What could Apple announce today? Our Kate Kozuch mocked this up using Granite Green. "I want the green color to look more like this to reflect one of Patone's colors of 2022," Kate says.
What do you think of this as a possible iPhone 13 color?
The iPad Air presumably will still offer a 10.9-inch display, compared to 11 inches for the iPad Pro. Both panels have 264 dpi, so they're equally sharp. But the Air's screen is a little less bright (500 nits vs 600 nits) and only the iPad Pro features ProMotion for 120Hz refresh rate.
In addition, the iPad Air likely won't get Face ID, which is unique to the iPad Pro. And the iPad Air will probably still feature a single camera, compared to the wide and ultra-wide shooters on the iPad Pro. We'll have to see what happens at the Apple event.
While the new Phone SE is tipped to include a number of upgrades, I'm most curious to see how Apple improves the camera. The rumors point to Apple including just a single wide camera once again, but we could see much better image quality. And that's because Apple's A15 Bionic chip should provide better computational photography capabilities, such as a proper Night mode and improved HDR. However, we would not expect Cinematic mode for video, as that requires a second lens.
I'll be very eager to test the iPhone SE 3 vs the Google PIxel 5a and we have a preview up now.
Our Henry T. Casey shares a note about what he's most excited about today. And it's the Apple Studio Display, if that winds up being the real name.
"I'm really excited about an Apple-built display. I've been using a random Dell monitor from work since the start of the pandemic, and it has horrible color reproduction. Apple's seemingly had no interest in a consumer-price display for years, and that's been annoying to me, since I love to extend my MacBook screens with an external monitor. The Pro XDR monitor they make is laughably expensive, so I'm hoping this thing is under $1,000."
It's just about an hour until showtime for the Apple Event, which means you should juice up your AirPods to watch Peek Performance with spatial audio. As a reminder, the AirPods Max, AirPods Pro and the new AirPods 3 all have spatial audio.
We're less than an hour away from the Apple event kicking off, and Apple CEO Tim Cook is sure to mention the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the steps Apple has taken to show its support. This includes Apple halting all product sales in the Ukraine. Cook will likely also mention that there are plenty of ways people can help the Ukraine by donating to various charities.
What if Apple releases a mouse today that doesn’t require me to do this? pic.twitter.com/75ICr8wevVMarch 8, 2022
Apple rarely spends much time on peripherals like mice or keyboards at Apple events, but The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern makes a good point about the Apple Magic Mouse here. Why should you have to turn it upside down to charge it? You can't use the mouse while it's being charged, which is dumb.
This is exactly why I use a Logitech mouse at home, which charges via USB-C through a port on the top front edge.
Peek performance. March 8th. See you there. #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/cEKMq7BuBhMarch 2, 2022
We're very close to the start of the Apple event, so it's worth revisiting this teaser from Greg Joswiak. Some people think it could be tipping a possible sneak peek at the Apple glasses or the Apple VR/AR headset. But our money is on a later launch, with WWDC 2022 being the soonest...
Which is not to say I wouldn't like to be proven wrong...
What timing! Google has announced that Chrome is now faster than Safari on Macs with its latest update. According to Google, the Chrome browser is 7% faster and has set a speed record. My bigger issue with Chrome is so how open tabs gobble up RAM, but this is good news as I prefer Chrome.
We're just a few minutes away and the music and pre-show animations have started. But I'm getting some buffering weirdness. See the video player above to watch all the action live!
Here we go! The Apple Event has just gone live. And we'll be here every step of the way for all the big announcements.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has kicked things off with a sizzle reel of Apple TV Plus originals, including Spirited with Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. There's also a spy thriller coming with Henry Cavill.
Here's a big bit of irony. Apple TV Plus is getting Friday Night baseball. These will be two games that will unique to Apple's service. There's a MLB lockout right now, but maybe we'll get games this year?
The iPhone 13 is getting a bold new green color, complete with color matched aluminum edges. The iPhone 13 Pro is coming in alpine green. Available March 18 and available for pre-order this week.
The new iPhone SE 3 is being announced right now. It will feature the A15 Bionic chip. The A15 has a 6-core CPU and it's up to 1.8x faster than the iPhone 8, and Apple reminds us its faster than all of the competition. Plus, there's a much more powerful GPU for taking advantage of Appel Arcade.
There's a 16-core neural engine, too. This comes in handy for features like Live Text. Midnight, Starlight and Product Red are the colors, and you get the "strongest glass in a smartphone" on the back and front.
Yes, the home button is still there, so don't expect Face ID. The good news is that Apple says the new iPhone SE offers longer battery life, plus 5G connectivity. So you'll be able to enjoy faster downloads and uploads along with lower latency.
Apple says that the new iPhone SE 2022 should offer better image quality as well, thanks to better computational photography. So you should expect improved low-light performance for both photos and videos, as well as Smart HDR.
Price is $429, so that's $30 more than the previous model. Available March 18.
Now we're on to the new iPad Air 5. It has a new M1 chip that is up to twice as fast. Plus, Apple says it's 2x faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its price range.
Apple says you can fly through all sorts of apps, including design and games. Machine Learning workflows should also be smoother, such as editing out the background in Adobe Lightroom.
The front camera is getting an update, too. You get a 12MP ultra-wide camera with support for Center Stage feature. So you can have multiple people in the frame during video calls.
The new iPad Air also supports fast 5G connectivity, and the USB-C port is now 2x faster for quicker file transfers. Accessories for the iPad Air include the Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio. And you can use the optional Apple Pencil 2nd gen.
The iPad Air comes in several colors, including a new Blue. The price is still $599. 64GB and 256GB option and Wi-Fi and cellular models. Available March 18 and pre-orders start Friday.
We're on to the Mac. Tim Cook is talking about the advantages of Apple Silicon and the designs it made possible, including the new MacBook Pros and thin iMac.
John Termus, SVP of hardware engineering is talking about the "next giant leap." There's a new chip in the Apple family, and it's called M1 Ultra.
The M1 Ultra uses a multi-die architecture called UltraFusion using 2.5 TB/sec of bandwidth. There's 114 billion transistors, 7x more than the M1. You're essentially getting two chips in one.
The memory bandwidth is 800 GB/sec. And there's up to 128GB of unified memory. There's a 20-core CPU and 64-core GPU. 8x faster than the M1 chip. Apple also promises industry-leading performance per watt.
Apple is highlighting what developers think of the M1 Ultra chip. You can expect a faster workflow with faster previews. And scene rendering is up to four times faster. "Everything just flows."
A designer can create an unparalleled level of detail, for example, when showing off a new jacket.
The Mac Studio is official, as is the Apple Studio Display. The Mac Studio leverages the power of Apple's M1 Ultra chip and the design looks like Mac mini on steroids with a compact design that measures 7.7 x 3.7 inches.
There's a specialized cooling system on the Mac Studio and there's 2,000 precisely machined perforations on the back. And the sound is designed to be minimal.
The back has four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB A ports, HDMI and Pro Audio jack. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 are built in. Plus, there's two USB-C ports up front with Thunderbolt 4 and an SD Card slot for importing photos.
You can drive up to 4 Pro XDR displays plus a 4K TV.
The Mac Studio M1 Max is 2.5 faster than 27-inch iMac Pro and up to 3.4x faster graphics. Mac Studio is also over 3x faster than the previous Mac Pro.
The M1 Ultra configuration is on another level. You get up to 3.8 faster CPU performance than the iMac Pro. GPU performance is up to 4x faster.
The most powerful workstations offer 48GB of video memory, but there's 64GB on this machine. And there's up to 128GB of unified memory on the Mac Studio.
The new Apple Studio Display has been announced. It's a 27-inch 5K display with an A13 Bionic chip inside. There's a highly advanced 12MP ultra-wide camera that's borrowed from the iPad with Center Stage support. And there's a three-mic array for studio quality audio.
Plus, you get a high-fidelity 6-speaker sound system with two high-performance tweeters. And there's Spatial Audio support. Apple calls this the best combination of audio and video in a display.
There's three USB-C ports on the back, plus a Thunderbolt port for plugging in a Mac with up to 96W of power. You can connect up to three displays at once to your MacBook Pro.
The new Mac Studio will start at $1,999 with the M1 Max, and it will start at a hefty $3,999 for the M1 Ultra configuration. And the new Apple Studio display starts at $1,599.
These products are available for pre-order today and go on sale March 18.