Apple sent out invitations Wednesday for its March 8 Spring event, one of the first big-ticket days in its launch calendar. The digital event, which will start at 10 am PT (11:30 pm IST), carries the tagline “Peek performance.”
The tagline is likely an indication we will see a 5G iPhone SE. The iPhone SE 2 (‘SE’ stands for “Special Edition”), which made its debut towards the beginning of the pandemic two years back, is a popular budget iPhone but overdue for an update. The strategy to resurrect an iPhone 8 and put the latest chipset inside has worked wonders for Apple in markets like India, where Cupertino has gained new users and increased its market share. It’s possible Apple will repeat the same formula this year with no redesign in tow but up the value by adding 5G and a better camera to further attract budget-conscious consumers, who always aspire to buy an iPhone in emerging markets.
A cheaper entry-level price could be possible. A drop in the retail price could bring more users to the Apple ecosystem and under the leadership of Tim Cook, Cupertino has been testing aggressive price strategies in India, its next best bet after mainland China in terms of market opportunity. If that happens, the arrival of the iPhone SE 5G could impact Samsung’s Galaxy A-series as well as OnePlus’ popular Nord series. Players like Xiaomi and Realme are less likely to be affected by the launch of the new iPhone SE as they mostly dominate the budget smartphone segment.
The company may also announce the fifth-generation iPad Air, Apple’s mid-range tablet which is also expected to get a spec bump with a 5G modem and a faster processor. The $599 Air was last updated in fall 2020 with an iPad Pro-like redesign and support for Magic Keyboard.
With Apple still in the process of switching all of its Macs over from Intel to Apple Silicon, the upcoming Spring event may become the launchpad for at least one or two new Macs. Current rumours indicate the launch of an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro as well as a new Mac mini, the latter powered by the M1 Pro chip. Apple announced two new MacBook Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips last fall.
Although Apple announces its must-have products including the iPhone in September just before the holiday season kicks off, its Spring event is increasingly becoming important. Last year, Apple held its annual Spring event in April, where it launched a new iPad Pro, colourful iMac M1, a purple iPhone, AirTag location tracker and an updated Apple TV.
Apple is reportedly planning to launch a bunch of new products this year. While updates to iPhone and iPad Pro are expected, for the first time Apple could show off developers the long-awaited Mixed Reality (MR) headset, which is reportedly in development since 2015. The headset will mark Apple’s first new all-new product after 2016’s AirPods.