Peeks and valleys: Apple’s performance begins before the show even starts
March 5, 2022 March 5, 2022
Welcome to our weekly collection of all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.
What a week it’s been for Apple watchers! We began in a state of feverish anticipation, expecting invitations for the March 8 spring event to drop into our inboxes on Tuesday afternoon (the usual week in advance). We even knocked up a batch of witty taglines the company could use for its marketing.
But inboxes remained invite-free and, in a fit of pique, pundits across the land typed up explanations for why the March 8 event was off (or at least unlikely). Maybe Mark Gurman got it wrong. Maybe plans changed out of respect for the situation in Ukraine. Maybe there wouldn’t be an event at all.
Or maybe we just needed to be patient, for the very next day the invitations appeared. Taglined “Peek performance”, the event would take place on Tuesday March 8 after all. It’s almost like Apple wanted to spin out the anticipation just a little bit longer, and generate even more hype ahead of what will be one of its most important ever keynotes. Has there ever been a company better able to manipulate the attention of the world’s media?
“Peek performance” is an odd phrase, and not one of the suggestions on our list (primarily because it doesn’t involve a pun on the word spring). What it has in common with previous taglines, however, is a stubborn refusal to give up its secrets. For Apple, generating curiosity is more important than satisfying it.
Naturally we’ve set our minds to decoding that enigmatic two-word phrase, and that mysterious, mind-bending artwork: does it herald the arrival of new processors, or the use of existing high-performance chips in new devices? Is Apple finally going to show us some AR hardware? Here’s what Apple might give us a “Peek” at on Tuesday, and here’s why the M2 MacBook Air would be the perfect fit for this event. (While we’re at it, here are five rumored products that aren’t coming, if that isn’t setting us up for more egg on face.)
Regardless of the speculation now whirling around Apple’s Mac range, the core expectation for Tuesday’s presentation remains the new iPhone SE, which could rival the cheapest Android phones with a price tag as low as $299 (while the existing model may remain on sale at an unprecedented and budget-tastic $199). We’ve written in the past about the iPhone SE’s unusual blend of boredom and crucial importance. But if anyone can sell a boring product it’s Apple, a company so skilled at marketing that even its invitations know when to make a big entrance.
Trending: Top stories of the week
Apple this week took a stand against Russia, with the company’s sanctions over the Ukraine invasion including limits on product sales, Apple Pay and RT News. But Jason Snell wonders if it would ever do the same with China, given how tightly its sales and manufacturing operations are tied in with that country.
Specs and pricing for a new MacBook Pro have leaked. But they’re probably fake.
Video of the week
It’s common knowledge that the current Mac mini design is bigger than it needs to be. But we were impressed to see Quinn Nelson, using 3D-printer parts, shrink down the chassis to roughly a quarter of its original volume without impacting performance.
Just imagine what Apple’s engineers could do if they put their mind to it. Given that the next model is expected to see a significant reduction in size, we may find out later this year.