New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April.
Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are likely to be unveiled, including a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the new iPad mini, a new iPhone SE with 5G, and two new Macs powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
New iPad Air
A fifth-generation iPad Air is in the works with features that will bring it to parity with the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G support for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
The report said the new iPad Air will have the same overall design as the current model, including a single-lens rear camera. Released in October 2020, the current iPad Air features a 10.9-inch display with slim bezels, a Touch ID power button, and a USB-C port, with color options including Space Gray, Silver, Green, Rose Gold, and Sky Blue.
The report, citing reliable sources in China, claimed that the new iPad Air could be announced alongside the third-generation iPhone SE this spring.
New iPhone SE
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that the third-generation iPhone SE will feature the same design as the current model, with a 4.7-inch display, Touch ID home button, and thicker bezels. Kuo said key upgrades to the device will include 5G support and a faster processor — reportedly the A15 Bionic chip found in iPhone 13 models.
Bigger changes to the iPhone SE are not expected until at least next year. Apple plans to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display in 2023 or 2024, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a very accurate source of display-related information for future Apple products.
Redesigned 27-Inch iMac
Apple is rumored to be planning a redesigned 27-inch iMac with a mini-LED display for release in the first half of 2022. The new 27-inch iMac is expected to support ProMotion, enabling a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother content and scrolling.
The new 27-inch iMac is rumored to be powered by the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that debuted in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro last year. The switch to Apple silicon should result in a thinner design similar to the 24-inch iMac.
High-End Mac Mini
Apple is also expected to release higher-end Mac mini models with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips this year, and while a specific timeframe has not been rumored, a March or April announcement would make sense alongside the new 27-inch iMac.
Apple already updated the Mac mini with the M1 chip in November 2020, but only for lower-end configurations, with higher-end models still using Intel processors.