In what will be the earliest keynote a year for Apple since 2012, where in the March Apple announced the third generation iPad (the iOS device that holds the record of having shortest life span at only 221 days), we are set to have an Apple event with a number revisions to popular hardware.
Lets run down what could be unveiled from most to least likely!
The iPhone SE will see its third revision, gaining 5G support at the same time where some carriers are starting to turn off their 3G Networks. Other than updating the radios and processor the updates to the iPhone SE will be modest, with continuing to lack Face ID or a multi camera array which the iPhone and iPhone Pro have, in addition their rounded edge to edge display.
The current generation of the iPad Air was met with great reception upon its release in October 2020, at that time feeling like the only compromise when compared to the smaller iPad Pro was Face ID vs the Touch ID side button. Since then Apple have differentiated the iPad Pro with the M1 Chip and Mini LED Display, and have refreshed the cheaper iPad mini. This update will see the iPad Air refreshed to the A15 chip and like the iPhone SE also incorporate 5G.
The fifth generation Mac mini containing the M1 chip has been available since November 2020, but due to its relatively low RAM ceiling of 16GB Apple has continued to sell the fourth generation Intel Mac minis originally released in 2018.
This update will see the Mac mini support the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that were made available in the MacBook Pro last year, and although a chassis redesign isn’t completely off the cards I would imagine we will have to be satisfied with just he option of picking Silver or Space Grey.
A revamped Mac mini seems like the perfect time to announce a stand alone display, with a price point more accommodating than the Pro Display XDR. The Pro Display will continue to be the only display sporting a 6K display, but a 27 inch 5K Mini-LED around $1000 appears to be on the cards … but would Apple want to wait until the same display is available in a larger iMac …
There are a number of rumours circulating that Apple will use this event to update the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to an M2 Chip. In my personal opinion it would seem strange to do this before the M1 transition has completed (although I’m sure in the future chips revisions won’t overlap cleanly), as we are still waiting for the large iMac and Mac Pro to make the jump across to Apple Silicon. Moreover the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar feels like it is only there to hit a price point, so it would feel strange for Apple to give it much attention unless was receiving a major revamp of its own to better define its role in the lineup, which I don’t see happening!