What to expect (and not) from Apple’s ‘Peek Performance’ event

Spring is finally here, which means it’s also an upgrade season for Apple fans. The tech juggernaut is holding a live ‘Peek Performance’ event on March 8 at 10 am PT (10:30 am ) at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. Speculation is rampant about a sequel to 2020’s iPhone SE, an updated iPad Air with 5G, and at least one new Mac with Apple Silicon could be announced. But what more? Here’s what tech insiders are predicting Apple CEO Tim Cook and company will reveal on Tuesday.

iPhone SE will be updated
A successor to the 2020 iPhone SE is almost guaranteed at this moment. The second-generation iPhone SE was announced around the same time the Covid-19 entered our lives and the $399 device was a surprise hit. During its Spring event next week, Apple will most likely launch the third-generation, which won’t be drastically different from the previous model with exception of an ultra-fast 5G connectivity and a powerful A15 Bionic processor. Expect the iPhone SE 3 to look exactly like the iPhone 8, featuring a 4.7-inch LCD display with thick top and bottom bezels and a Touch ID home button. The iPhone SE 3 will be pitched as Apple’s most affordable 5G smartphone and will likely cost $399. Since it’s going to be a budget iPhone, it’s unlikely to be a replacement for the iPhone XR.

iPad Air will gain 5G
There will also be an updated iPad Air at Apple’s hyped March 8 event. This iPad, traditionally a mid-range option in Apple’s tablet lineup, will have a similar design as the last-gen model but is believed to get 5G connectivity support, either A15 or M1 processor, and the Center Stage camera feature which keeps you and anyone else with you in a frame on your video calls. The next-generation iPad Air will continue to feature a side-mounted Touch ID and an LCD display. The iPad Air 4, updated in 2020, was praised for its great performance, premium design and compatibility with the Magic keyboard made the tablet so productive.
High-end Mac mini
The refreshed Mac mini will replace the Intel-based model, and will probably ship with the M1 and M1 Max chips. (Image credit: Apple)
In addition, we might be seeing a refreshed Mac mini. But it won’t replace the exing Mac mini with the M1 chip. Instead, it will likely be pitched as a high-end Mac mini and will replace the Intel-based model that now feels odd in the current Mac lineup. There is a high chance that it will ship with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, first seen on the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pros last week. Hopefully, a faster and more powerful Mac mini will be welcomed creative users looking to upgrade their exing desktop setup. The new Mini Mac is also expected to feature a new design and more ports. It remains to be seen if the new Mac mini will be called “Mac Studio” or something else.
What not to expect at the Apple event
13-inch MacBook Pro with M2
Rumour has it that Apple is also planning to launch a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s unclear if the device will get the upcoming M2 chipset. At this point, it is hard to predict if Apple is ready to show off the M2 processor at its Spring event. Apple’s in-house processor is expected to make its debut in a completely redesigned MacBook Air, a brand new Mac mini and 24-inch iMac, according to a recent Bloomberg report. With the new MacBook Air not coming before the holidays, it’s hard to believe that Apple would introduce the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip at this point. Apple launched its first in-house Apple silicon for Mac in November 2020, a move that helped Cupertino ditch the Intel-branded chips from its computers.
27-inch iMac
The 27-inch iMac is rumoured to be powered the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. (Image credit: Apple)
A 27-inch iMac has been rumoured for months, but don’t expect it to launch next week. The more powerful all-in-one iMac is rumoured to be powered the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. It may also feature a mini-LED display, the same type of panel found on the 16-inch MacBook Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apparently, this will be the iMac Pro, according to reports. Expect the design of the 27-inch iMac to be similar to that of the M1 24-inch iMac, and hopefully, it will also incorporate a Full HD webcam. Insiders believe the 27-inch iMac could be announced in June, around the same time when the annual WWDC kickstarts.

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