How many new product announcements do we really need? I mean, they revealed phones, watches, and iPads in September, HomePods and laptops in October. And now here we are in March, and they’ve got more goodies coming out.
But before we get to the hardware, a bit of baseball news: Apple TV+ will be showing two MLB games every Friday. Assuming, of course, that there’s an MLB season. No word on whether games on Apple will be blacked out on MLB.TV. History suggests they will; one more reason to be pissed off at the team owners and the commissioner.
New iPhones are coming.
No, not new models; the 13 is still the latest and greatest. But you’ll be able to get the 13 Pro (and, I presume, the Pro Max) in “alpine green”. Or, if you don’t need that third camera, you can get the regular 13 (and the 13 Mini?) in “green”. Just green, no alpine for you.
Of course, there is a new SE. This is now the third generation of SE, with mostly the guts of the iPhone 13 backing the same old comparatively low-resolution screen of the previous SE. Better camera, though still not as good at the 13, naturally. And it does have 5G.
Time for a new iPad Air. With an M1 chip. Clearly, last September’s iPad Pro with the M1 is so last year: unless you can’t live without FaceID, there’s not a lot to choose between the new guys and those six-month-old ancients. Better front camera than the previous iPad Air and, of course, 5G for the cellular models.
And, naturally, new computers.
No M2 chip yet. But we are going to be seeing the M1 Ultra! Can you imagine how excited I am? To be fair, the idea behind the Ultra is kind of cool: let’s glue two M1 Max chips together and treat them as a single chip.
There’s been a longstanding perception that Apple computers feel slow, even when they’re objectively screaming along. No matter how fast the computer is getting work done, the user interface has often felt sluggish. I have to hand it to Apple on this one: I can’t imagine an M1 Ultra machine feeling sluggish–unless Apple deliberately throttles it back.
So we’re getting a new computer line to hold the Ultra. Not a Pro, not an iMac, and certainly not a Mini. Brace yourself for the Mac Studio. Actually, it looks like a tall Mini. With lots of ports. Easy on desk space, which is good, because Apple wants you to pair it with a new monitor.
A 27-inch monitor. Really, Apple? When I can walk into any electronics store and buy a 32-, 34-, 43-, or even 49-inch monitor? Okay, yes, it does have a dedicated CPU for its camera and sound system, and a metric buttload of speakers, but still, 27 inches does seem rather cramped these days.
That monitor is a mere $1500. I don’t see the value, honestly. Go with a third-party monitor and audio system, and put that grand-and-a-half toward upping the specs on the computer. M1 Ultra Studios will start at $3999, which honestly doesn’t sound half bad for 64GB of RAM, a terabyte of storage, and that CPU. (A maxed out model–128 GB, 8TB, and 16 additional GPU cores–will only set you back $7999. As Apple helpfully point out, that’s only $666 a month for a year.)
I’m not sure I can honestly say Apple is doing anything revolutionary here, but it’s one heck of an evolutionary advance.
And, if you want to see something truly impressive, wait until they’re ready to announce an Apple silicon Mac Pro.
Which, given Apple’s recent pace of announcements, should come before summer.