Apple debuts Mac Studio, updates iPhone SE and iPad Air
Apple on Tuesday announced a new Mac Studio desktop computer powered by a faster M1 ultra processor as well as new versions of the iPhone SE and iPad Air with faster processors and 5G support.
Why it matters: The moves, part of Apple's first product launch of the year, gives Mac buyers a new option and helps the iPhone be more competitive in the mid-range market.
Details: Here's what Apple has announced:
- A new desktop Mac Studio computer built around either the M1 Max or a new M1 Ultra processor for Macs with improved graphics performance. Until now, Apple's desktop line had long been limited to the entry-level Mac mini, the all-in-one iMac or the very high-end Mac Pro. (Long time Apple watchers will remember that the company briefly had a mid-size desktop before, the oft-maligned PowerMac G4 Cube.)
- Along with the new desktop, Apple introduced a companion 27-inch Studio Display monitor with a 5K Retina display that has its own A13 Bionic processor to power the built-in 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, 6-speaker sound system and microphone array.
- The M1 Max-powered version of the Mac Studio starts at $1,999, while the M1 Ultra starts at $3,999. The Studio Display sells for $1,599. All are available March 18.
- The iPhone SE, with a smaller 4.7-inch display, allows Apple to reach mid-range phone buyers who want a smaller phone. It starts at $429 and will be available March 18.
- An updated iPad Air that has the M1 processor that powers the iPad Pro and some Mac computers. It also features optional 5G support and an improved front-facing camera for better video chat. It will start at $599 and be available on March 18.
- Apple TV+ is entering into live sports via a deal with Major League Baseball that will offer two games on Friday that are exclusive to Apple TV+. (Yes, but: the deal comes as the season has been delayed due to a lockout.)
- The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are getting new green color options.
Of note: The iPhone SE appears to support several flavors of 5G, but not the fastest, short-range millimeter wave bandwidths. That helps keep down the cost, analysts say.
Yes, but: Despite billing the event as "Peek Performance" Apple did not provide a sneak peek at any further-out products.