07 July 2022
Apple's annual developer conference i.e. WWDC was held earlier this month. It took the stage to announce the next software iterations for all of its products and now, the focus is on next-gen hardware products. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has shared the latest information about the company's hardware plans in his newest newsletter edition.
Gurman says Apple is preparing for the release of a number of products spread across different categories. These will launch starting this fall and will continue until the first half of 2023. The products include new iPhone models, Apple Watch models, iPads, new AirPods Pro, M2 and M3-powered Macs, HomePod, Apple TV, and the company's first-ever mixed-reality headset.
The new iPhone models will be part of the iPhone 14 lineup. There will be four models said to be named iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple will not release a Mini variant this year because of below expectation demand for the previous offering. It will be replaced by iPhone 14 Max which will be the same as the iPhone 14 but with a bigger 6.7-inch display.
The new iPhone 14 Pro models will have Always-on display support. There will be a 48-megapixel primary rear camera, front camera improvements, the A16 Bionic chip, and thinner bezels. The notch will be replaced by a pill-shaped cutout and a punch-hole on the front. These will be used for Face ID sensors and front camera respectively.
The non-Pro models will not have noticeable upgrades and will arrive with the same A15 chip as their predecessors. The Lightning port is expected to stay this year with the USB Type-C port coming next year. All iPhone 14 models will boot the new iOS 16 out of the box.
Gurman expects Apple to release 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this year. These will be powered by the M2 chip and will support Stage Manager. This will extend the number of iPads compatible with Stage Manager to five. There are speculations that we may see a 14-inch or 15-inch iPad in the next one or two years. If this happens, it will be the biggest iPad device yet.
Apple currently has two MacBook models powered by the new M2 chip. Both of these were announced at WWDC but there are a bunch of other models in the pipeline. It is said to be working on a new M2 Mac mini, M2 Pro Mac mini, 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max, and a Mac Pro model with M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme chipsets.
The M2 chip is further said to make an appearance with the first mixed-reality headset from Apple. It will be powered by the base M2 chipset along with 16GB of RAM. It will likely run on a custom software called realityOS with features meant to enhance the virtual and mixed reality user experience.
The Cupertino-based tech giant has also begun working on M3, a chip successor to M2. It is expected to make its debut with a new 13-inch MacBook Air, a new iMac, and a new 12-inch laptop. The latter is said to be in the early development phase as of now.
The Apple Watch lineup is expected to have three models this year. These will include the standard Apple Watch Series 8, a new Apple Watch SE, and a rugged edition. It will be powered by the S8 chipset, which will be more or less the same as the S7 chip, which was not that different from S6. Gurman expects noticeable upgrades to become available with 2023 models.