Last week, Apple held its spring conference, launching the third generation of the iPhone SE, the new iPad Air, as well as new products such as the M1 Ultra and Mac Studio. With the continuous increase and refinement of the product line, Apple’s spring conference has gradually become regular in the past two years. This conference now takes some of the tasks of the June and September conferences. It also speeds up the product update cycle to attract more users.
This spring conference has the largest number of new products in recent years. It also has the widest product positioning. It does not only have cheap products like the iPhone SE 3, it also has products such as the M1 Ultra chip. From the perspective of product positioning, this spring of 2022 is also the most important spring conference over the years.
Top 5 devices at Apple spring conference
1. Apple TV+
At the beginning of the press conference, Cook first introduced Apple TV+. “Apple Studio” has produced many excellent works in recent years, such as “Macbeth’s Tragedy” or “CODA”, which have been nominated for Oscar awards. As part of Apple’s ecosystem, content itself now gets more attention. This promotes Apple’s related businesses and continues to attract more users.
Cook then shared “some exciting things”, Apple TV+ joined the American professional baseball game, watching two games every Friday night. Baseball is an iconic sport in the United States, further increasing the Apple TV+ video service value.
2. iPhone SE 3
All generations of iPhone SE are based on previous products. This generation iPhone SE is no exception. The iPhone SE 3 is still another magically modified version of the iPhone 8. It now has a better A15 Bionic chip and its performance is on par with the iPhone 13 series. In addition, it supports 5G and conforms to the trend.
The A15 Bionic chip is once again the core driving force to advance the iPhone SE’s photography. It still uses a single lens, but the photography has better depth of field, smart HDR, etc., which is obviously the result of computational photography. In addition, the recognition of text in images is also a computing power improvement.
The official did not mention the battery capacity of this smartphone. However, it said that the excellent energy consumption of the A15 is better than the battery life. Other features such as Touch ID, non-fullscreen, LCD material screen, etc are basically the same as before. Another detail is the addition of the super-ceramic glass used on the iPhone 12. This improves the glass of this device and makes it more drop-resistant.
With the two items of A15+5G, plus the price of $429, the third generation of iPhone SE can meet the basic requirements of new users.
3. iPad Air core replacement update M1+5G
Relative to the iPhone SE, the 2022 iPad Air is more like a regular upgrade, with the replacement of the M1 chip. The camera is also vetter but the shape and design remain the same. This device also has new colour options. In fact, since the previous generation, iPad Air has added colorful options. In other parts, the iPad Air is basically the same as the previous generation. We can talk of the single-lens design, screen size, and the popular USB-C interface.
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Because of its strong performance, Apple has also emphasized the productivity tool attributes of this product. The second-controlled keyboard and Apple Pencil have justifiably appeared on this device. The iPad Air also supports a 12-megapixel ultra-wide front-facing camera, which is also the same as the iPad mini 6.
In addition to the M1 chip, Apple also adds 5G connectivity (optional) to the iPad Air. This is also on par with last year’s iPad mini. The USB-C port, battery life, etc. don’t seem to have changed significantly. The iPad Air starts at $599 and starts at 4,399 yuan in China. It will go on sale on March 18.
This update of the iPad Air, similar to the regular update logic of computer products, is a pure hardware upgrade. For the entire iPad series, the clarity of different categories such as iPad Pro – iPad Air – iPad mini – iPad is maintained, each with its own segmented market and users.
4. M1 Ultra
This chip is the soul of the spring conference and the core of a series of products that follow. However, its name is not the “M2” following the speculations but the M1 Ultra.
The shape of the M1 Ultra is unexpected, and it can be simply understood that it is “spliced” by two M1 Max chips. Johny Srouji, head of Apple’s chip division, said that the chip is linked together through a new packaging architecture. Furthermore, the bandwidth between the two processors reaches 2.5TB/s.
In this way, the effect of doubling the computing power is achieved. This way of splicing two chips into one piece seems to have never been seen in consumer electronics before. Because the performance of M1 Max is almost the strongest in the industry, after this splicing, most of its parameters double.
The official mentions that it is still a 5-nanometer process, with 114 billion transistors, 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, up to 64-core GPU, 32-core neural engine, 128GB RAM, and memory bandwidth of 800 GB/s billion operations.
These parameters are horrible, and Apple further emphasizes its energy efficiency ratio. With such a strong chip, of course, there must be new devices as a carrier, so here comes the Mac Studio.
5. Mac Studio & Studio Display – Apple’s second most powerful computer is born
The shape of the Mac Studio is designed as a square aluminum box, as if the Mac mini has become fat, with two USB-C ports and a card reader port on the front. It also has four USB-C ports and two USB-A ports on the back. It also has a power supply, network cable, audio port, HDMI output, etc. Internally, it uses M1 Max or M1 Ultra chips, a maximum of 8TB hard drive, and a maximum of 128GB RAM.
The M1 Ultra is a chip made for desktop computers and has higher requirements for heat dissipation. This machine, unsurprisingly, has become Apple’s second-strongest desktop computer (Apple has left a foreshadowing here). Mainly for video studio users. It is matched with a new A13 Studio Display monitor. This is the legendary Apple 27-inch monitor.
It has a standard 5K resolution, 600 nits of brightness, and a P3 wide color gamut. The 27-inch square shape is somewhat similar to the previous XDR, and the panel can be coated with nano-glass to prevent glare. At the same time, this monitor has six built-in speakers and supports the popular spatial audio function.
Studio Display+Mac Studio constitutes Apple’s temporarily strongest desktop computer. The M1 Ultra chip became the decisive factor. Some people may have thought that two chips could play like this before, but the data transmission bandwidth between them was not enough and could not be achieved. At the press conference, Apple mentioned that the transition from Intel to self-developed chips has been “almost successful”.
The Apple spring conference has always been a “non-essential” role. As a “spare tire” for the autumn conference, it often does not get much attention. However, because of the arrival of the M1 Ultra and Mac Studio, this conference got all the attention it needs.
These professional-grade products break the law of only introductory products or regular updates at the spring launch. Perhaps in the future, Apple will also move towards a real two-year update. At the same time, the existence of the iPhone SE, iPad Air, and other products has not slowed down the rhythm of regular updates.