Apple just wrapped up its first product event of the year. It focused on a new affordable iPhone, an update to the iPad Air and its latest, most powerful Mac chip, which will make its debut in the new Mac Studio computer. Here's are some highlights from the event:
- A new budget iPhone
- New colors for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.
- A new iPad Air.
- The Mac Studio computer with Apple's new M1 Ultra chip.
- The new 27-inch Studio Display monitor.
And Apple teased a new Mac Pro, but said it'll talk about that at another event.
You can also watch Apple's presentation on YouTube right here:
Here's everything Apple announced.
That's a wrap on Apple's launch event
Apple wrapped up its launch event in just under an hour. Thanks for tuning in with us. — Kif Leswing
Apple hints that a more powerful Mac Pro is yet to be released
After announcing the Mac Studio, Apple's head of hardware John Ternus teased that it would release a more powerful new Mac Pro model in the future.
"One more product to go: Mac Pro. But that's for another day," Ternus said.
— Kif Leswing
Apple introduces Studio Display
Apple announced its new Studio Display on Tuesday.
It offers a 5K Retina 27-inch screen, speakers and has a built-in camera. Users can also choose between an all-aluminum enclosure with a tilting stand or a tilt and height-adjustable stand option. The screen can also be used to fast-charge Apple's latest MacBook Pros when it's plugged in.
It costs $1,599 and is available for pre-order today.
Apple announces Mac Studio with M1 Ultra chip
Apple introduced the first new Mac model in years with the Mac Studio, a display-less desktop computer. It's a cube-shaped aluminum box with USB-C ports and a SD card slot on the front.
It's taller than the existing Mac Mini. The additional height is used for big fans to keep the computer's temperature down.
Apple also announced a separate 27-inch display called Studio Display with 5K resolution, equipped with an Apple chip, speakers, and built-in camera.
The computer uses the high-performance M1 Ultra processor, which the company says has more power than its existing M1 chips.
The Mac Studio with an older M1 Max chip starts at $1999. The model with an M1 Ultra starts at $3999. The Studio Display starts at $1599.
Apple said that the M1 Ultra basically doubles the size of Apple's previous M1 chips using a connection technology it calls UltraFusion. Apple said it has more transistors than any other PC chip and includes a 64-core graphics processor.
Apple said that the Mac Studio with M1 Ultrais 80% faster than the top-of-the-line Mac Pro, which retailed for over $50,000.
"We've transitioned nearly every product in the Mac lineup to Apple Silicon," Cook said.
— Kif Leswing
Apple announces new iPad Air with M1 chip, starting at $599
Apple announced a new version of its mid-range iPad, the iPad Air. It uses Apple's M1 processor, which is the chip used in the pricier iPad Pro and MacBook Air models. It also has optional 5G support.
Its front-facing camera was upgraded to a 12-megapixel camera with a wide angle lens, which enables a feature called Center Stage that can follow subjects as they move around in the frame while videoconferencing.
It will cost $599, with optional storage space and cellular upgrades. It's the same price as it retailed for before. It will hit store shelves on March 18.
The iPad Air was most recently updated in 2020.— Kif Leswing
Apple unveils new budget iPhone SE, costs $429
Apple just announced a new budget iPhone SE, which is the successor to the 2020 model but with 5G and the latest iPhone processor, A15.
The device looks like the previous iPhone SE, with a 4.7-inch rectangular display, and a TouchID fingerprint sensor. It's equipped with a 12-megapixel rear camera.
It will retail for $429 and will hit store shelves on March 18. That's more expensive than the $399 model Apple launched in 2020 and is a surprise bump in price.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the device was ideal for people who like smaller phones. — Kif Leswing
You can get a green iPhone 13 soon
Apple is adding two new colors for its iPhone. People can pre-order the iPhone 13 in "green" and the iPhone 13 Pro in "alpine green" starting Friday.
Apple announces deal with MLB, will air games on Friday nights
Apple said that it will air two exclusive Major League Baseball games on Friday nights, marking Apple's first entry into live sports.
Apple said it will air live pregame and postgame shows, and it will be free from local broadcast restrictions, and won't require an Apple TV+ subscription for now.
It will air in United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, Apple said.
But, it comes a week after MLB canceled opening day due to the ongoing lockout.
— Kif Leswing
Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage
We've started. Cook has taken the stage and said this will be the first launch event this year. — Kif Leswing
Over 150,000 people are watching the livestream on YouTube
Five minutes before Apple's show is about to start, over 150,000 people are streaming the event on YouTube. It's a sign that Apple can still generate huge consumer demand for its products through its carefully choreographed launch events. Last year at the iPhone 13 launch, over 300,000 viewers tuned in five minutes ahead of time. — Kif Leswing
Expect news on the iOS 15.4 update for iPhones
Look for news on a release date for Apple's latest iPhone and iPad software. The iOS 15.4 update is expected to include a long-awaited revision to the face ID feature, which would allow users to unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask, just as masks mandates are lifting nationwide. Other features include a new emoji and a new payment product allowing iPhone users to accept credit card payments without additional hardware.
-- Sarah Alessandrini
Apple CEO Tim Cook invites customers to "take a peek"
The tagline for Tuesday's event is "peek performance." While the marketing taglines often don't entirely line up with what's released, Apple has been applying broad themes to its launches since they went remote in 2020 — last year's was "spring loaded." — Kif Leswing
Apple's Mac business is on fire thanks to its M-series chips
Apple hasn't said what it plans to release today, but if it does end up releasing new Mac models, as bloggers and media reports have suggested, it will add further momentum to Apple's oldest product line.
In the most recent quarter ending in December, Apple reported $10.8 billion in Mac revenue, which was up 25% year-over-year. Macs were a bigger business in terms of sales than iPads in 2021.
Apple's Mac is experiencing a rebirth thanks to new models that sport better battery life, powered by Apple's M-series chips. Apple announced a move away from Intel in 2020 in favor of chips it originally designed for its iPhones but it later customized for laptops and desktops. A new powerful Mac model on Tuesday would be another big step in that transition to a computer lineup entirely powered by Apple chips. — Kif Leswing
Apple's online store is down
Apple's online store is down, to nobody's surprise. The company has a long held tradition of closing its online store to customers until its launch event is over, partly to build hype, partly to keep people from buying a product that will be outdated or cheaper minutes before a new one is announced.
Expect a new low-cost iPhone priced around $399
Reports have suggested that we'll see a new low-cost iPhone today. My guess is a successor to the iPhone SE that launched in 2020 for $399, but with 5G and the same processor Apple includes in the iPhone 13. The phone would cater to people who still want a home button and don't need all of the flashy features of Apple's more expensive iPhones. One thing to watch: will Apple keep the current iPhone SE around and sell it for even less? At $199 it might compete better against similarly priced Android phones.