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Apple's Peek Performance Event Announcements

Apple's

Today Apple held their "Peek Performance" event. The event itself was an hour long and included five product announcements including updates to existing products, including the iPhone, iPad Air, and iPhone SE. There were two brand new products introduced as well, the MacStudio and Studio Display. The releases go up in terms of amount of changes as the post goes on.

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 lineup in Green

The iPhone 13 line was the simplest of the updates, a new color, Green. There are actually two different shades of green, one for the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, and another shade for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. For the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 is called "Green". The color for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max is called "Alpine Green".

These two shades of green are reminiscent of the "Midnight Green" that was present on iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

These phones will be available for pre-order on Friday, March 11th, starting at 5 am Pacific Time and delivery will begin on Friday, March 18th.

Source: Apple News

iPad Air

The iPad Air got an update today as well. The 5th generation of the iPad Air is a mix of the iPad Pro and the iPad mini. It still has the same physical form factor, including Touch ID in the Home button at the top. The iPad Air still supports the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil. But there have been some internal changes.

It has the same design as the previous iPad Air model, but it includes an M1 processor like the iPad Pro. The M1 is an 8-core CPU, 8-Core GPU, includes Apple's Neural Engine, and has a whopping 8GB of RAM. This is double the RAM of the previous iPad Air, which only had 4GB.

There are three big big changes. The cellular models now support 5G, just like the cellular versions of iPad Pro and iPad mini. The second big change is the Face ID camera, which is a 12MP sensor. It now supports Center Stage, like the iPad Pros and MacBook Pros.

5th Generation Apple iPad Air

The 5th Generation iPad Air comes in 5 colors, Space Gray, Starlight, Pink, Purple, Blue. The only color that is the same as the previous models is the Space Gray, all of the others are new colors. Silver is replaced by Starlight, Rose Gold is replaced by Pink, Purple replaces Green, and the new Blue replaces the Sky Blue.

The storage remains the same at 64GB or 256GB. The 64GB Wi-Fi only model is $599, the 256GB Wi-Fi model is $749. The Cellular models cost $749 for the 64GB model and $899 for the 256GB Model. This is a $20 increase for the cellular models.

You can order the new iPad Air starting Friday, March 11th, starting at 5 am Pacific Time and delivery will begin on Friday, March 18th.

Source: Apple News

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE (3rd generation) is a bit more subtle upgrade. The form factor remains the same, as does the size, and the home button. The iPhone SE now includes an A15 processor, like the iPhone 13 line. This makes sense given the last update to the product was released in 2020. Beyond the inclusion of the A15, the iPhone SE also now supports 5G connectivity and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

iPhone SE 3rd Generation

The iPhone SE comes in three colors, Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED. You can now choose between 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB models. The 256GB option is new this year. The prices are $429, $479, and $579 respectively.

Just like the iPhone and iPad Air, you can order the new iPhone SE starting Friday, March 11th, starting at 5 am Pacific Time and delivery will begin on Friday, March 18th.

Source: Apple News

That covers the existing products, let us now turn to the new products, Mac Studio and Studio Display.

Mac Studio and Studio Display

Apple Mac Studio and Studio Display

The Mac Studio and Studio Display were designed to work together. We will cover each in turn, starting with the Mac Studio.

The Mac Studio is an entirely new product. It has a similar form factor to the Mac mini, except in its height. The dimensions of the Mac Studio are 7.7 inches (19.7cm) by 7.7 inches (19.7cm), by 3.7 inches (9.5cm) tall. This is where the similarities between the Mac mini and Mac Studio end. Both the outside and inside of the Mac Studio are different.

Mac Studio - Front View

External

The Mac Studio is is the same width as the Mac mini, yet it manages to pack in two more ports in the back. Specifically it has 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2 USB-A ports, a single 10Gbps ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The front of the Mac Studio has three ports, an SDXC card slot and either Two USB-C or Two Thunderbolt 4 ports. Which one of the ports is on the front depends on the internals.

Mac Studio - Back

Internals

The design of the Mac Studio is dictated by processor. The Mac Studio has two options, the existing M1 Max, and the all new M1 Ultra. You have your choice of 64GB The M1 Max is the same ones that are available with the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. There are two M1 Max options, 10-Core CPU/24-Core GPU or 10-Core CPU/32-Core GPU. Again, these are the same options available on the latest MacBook Pro models. You can choose between either 32GB or 64GB of unified memory.

M1 Ultra

Apple M1 Ultra Chip

The M1 Ultra is effectively two M1 Max chips that have a custom interconnect that Apple calls "UltraFusion", between the two processor dies. This interconnect allows the two processors to communicate with minimal latency and both processors can access the same shared memory. The M1 Ultra appears to apps as a single processor, so there is no need for developers to make any special accommodations with their apps to take advantage of the power and processing capabilities of the M1 Ultra.

Since the M1 Ultra is effectively two M1 Max chips the core count is doubled. This means that the processor comes in two flavors. One with has a 20-Core CPU, 48-Core GPU, and 32-Core Neural Engine, and another that is a 20-Core CPU, 64-Core GPU, and 32-Core Neural Engine.

Double the processors results in being able to address twice as much memory, so the M1 can support 64GB or 128GB of memory.

Configurations

The Mac Studio is only available in Silver. The pricing on this starts at $1999 for the 10-core CPU/24-Core GPU M1 Max with 32GB of memory and 512GB of storage and $3999 for the 20-core M1 Ultra. You can configure up to 8TB of storage.

The Mac Studio can be ordered today, but shipping times depend on the configuration.

Studio Display

Apple Studio Display

Apple has long had standalone displays. However, that has not always been the case. In fact from 2016 to 2019, Apple did not have its own standalone display. Instead it partnered with LG to provide the Ultrafine 4k and 5k displays. When these were introduced there were some interference problems with the displays and Wi-Fi. In June of 2019 Apple introduced a standalone display, the Pro Display XDR. While this was great for certain groups, it is not affordable for most people. The Pro Display XDR starts at $4999 (without a stand), and is more like $5999 with the stand.

Today Apple introduced a more affordable standalone monitor, the Studio Display. The Studio Display is an all-aluminum design 27-inch 5K Monitor. The Studio Display is not simply a monitor. Much like Apple's previous standalone displays, it includes some connectivity. Specifically it has Thunderbolt # port for connecting to a supported Mac, or iPad. Along with the Thunderbolt 3 port for connecting, there are three USB-C ports that can connect at 10Gbps, so you can connect peripherals to the display.

The Studio Display is actually powered by an A13 Bionic processor. The A13 Bionic enables for some features that are currently only available on iPads or MacBook Pros.

The Studio Display includes a "High-fidelity six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers", support for wide stereo sound. Beyond Wide Stereo sound, it also supports Spatial Audio when playing music, as well as with video, if the video supports Dolby Atmos.

Much like the Pro Display XDR there is a camera built into the display. The one included is a 12MP ultra-wide camera with a 122 degree field of view with an ƒ/2.4 aperture. These the same specifications as the one in the 5th generation iPad Air. This means that the Studio Display can support Center Stage.

The Studio Display is designed for professionals and can be used as a reference monitor. It includes most of the same reference modes as the Pro Display XDR. The available reference modes are:

  • Apple Display (P3-600 nits)
  • HDTV Video (BT.709-BT.1886)
  • NTSC Video (BT.601 SMPTE-C)
  • PAL and SECAM Video (BT.601 EBU)
  • Digital Cinema (P3-DCI)
  • Digital Cinema (P3-D65)
  • Design and Print (P3-D50)
  • Photography (P3-D65)
  • Internet and Web (sRGB)

The Studio Display has two different screen options, standard and Nano-Texture. There are also three stand options to choose from. The first is the Tilt-adjustable stand, which has a 30 degree adjustability. The second is the Tilt and Height Adjustable stand, which has the same adjustability but can be adjusted up to 105mm. The final option is a VESA compatible bracket so you can mount it on an arm.

Apple Studio Display Stand Options

The Studio Display is available to order today. It starts at $1599 for the standard glass and either the Tilt-adjustable stand or VESA mount adapter. The Tilt and height-adjustable stand is available for $1999. The Nano-texture glass version will cost $1899 and $2299 respectively. These can be ordered today and delivery starts Friday, March 18th. However, as of this writing the delivery dates have slipped to March 24th as being the earliest delivery date, and April is for most configurations.

Source: Apple News, Apple News

Other News

There are a couple of other things to cover. First, Apple has removed the 27-inch iMac from sale. The intended replacement is the Mac Studio and Studio Display. The Intel Mac mini and Mac Pro are now the only Intel-based machines available from Apple.

Along with the Mac Studio and Studio Display Apple also released matching Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Pad, a Magic Trackpad, and a Magic Mouse. These are designed to match the Studio Display. They are priced at $199 for the Magic Keyboard, $149 for the Trackpad, and $99 for the Magic Mouse. These accessories are available to order today.

Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Mouse in Black and Silver

Closing Thoughts

There were a ton of things announced today, including the new Green colors for the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, and Alpine Green for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. These are available for pre-order on Friday at 5 am Pacific Time.

The 3rd generation iPhone SE keeps the same form factor, but adds an A15 processor and 5G cellular connectivity. There are three colors, Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED. The price has increased $20, probably to accommodate the price difference for the 5G cellular modems. You can order on Friday starting at $429.

The 5th Generation iPad Air now includes an M1 processor with 5G for cellular models. This now includes 8GB of RAM and is available in five colors; Space Gray, Starlight, Pink, Purple, and Blue. The iPad Air is still available in 64GB and 256GB Models starting at $599. You can order the iPad Air starting on Friday at 5am Pacific Time.

The biggest announcements are the Mac Studio and the Studio Display. The Mac Studio is a new Mac that supports either the M1 Max or the new M1 Ultra. The Mac Studio starts at $1999 for a 10-core CPU/24-Core GPU and 512GB of storage.

The Studio Display is a new 5K Display that can be used as a reference monitor for some profiles. The Studio Display includes 1 Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to a device and you can use any of the three USB-C ports to connect peripherals. The Studio Display has a 12MP Camera that supports Center Stage and support for spatial audio. The Studio Display starts at $1599. Both the Mac Studio and Studio Display are available to order today.

I will post how I did with my predictions later this week. What do you think about today's announcements?

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