Apple may be planning to increase product launches in 2022, after a modest 2021 that was mostly dampened by pandemic-induced reasons. Bloomberg has reported that besides iPhones and AirPods, Apple may finally bring its VR headset to the market this year. That is not to say that 2021 was a bad year for Apple. It was the best year in terms of revenue, but if you count introductions of new products, they were minimal. 2022 is what may change that and Apple is reportedly ready to surprise us this year.
If you recollect, what Apple launched last year was anything but revolutionary or breakthrough.
The AirTags came out after a long series of rumours but they are exactly like Tiles – and that we have seen before. So nothing surprised us here. The Apple TV also got an upgrade in hardware, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that it is behind the competition, largely because of the outdated processor it uses inside. And that does not count as a breakthrough either. But the iPad, MacBooks, and iMac received significant upgrades in terms of performance, all thanks to the Apple Silicon chip. Their design also underwent an overhaul, even though most of it was a throwback to older MacBooks.
The iPhone, too, brought in changes, but they were mostly spit and polish. The iPhone 13’s notch got a bit narrower and the other hardware changes were modest. The additions, such as Cinematic Mode, were good but not worthy of being called refreshing or, again, a breakthrough. But that could be Apple’s way of sailing through 2022 before the iPhone 14 arrives in late 2022 with radical changes.
So, what can you expect from Apple in 2022?
To begin with, Apple will, obviously, bring new iterations to its hit product lines, i.e., the iPhone, the iPad, the AirPods, the Apple Watch, and the Mac. There may be two different launch events for the iPhone: one for the annual flagship and the other one for the iPhone SE model that has been in rumour mills for quite some time. The AirPods may see another Pro model with improved features, while the Apple Watch’s next edition is expected to go deeper in health and vital tracking. The Macs will bring performance improvements, thanks mostly to the Apple Silicon processor.
Let us break them down:
The iPhone 14 will come out sometime in September – or maybe in October if things do not go as planned. It is already expected to use the 3nm A-series chipset and that may be the fastest one by then. The notch may finally disappear and a punch-hole is what Apple is said to be favouring for the display design on the next iPhone.
The second iPhone – the iPhone SE – is expected to feature 5G this year. That makes sense because the markets that this phone is aimed at, such as India, are likely to begin 5G services sometime this year. An affordable iPhone to experience 5G speeds may be a good move by Apple. And this also counts as a big change for Apple’s affordable lineup.
The Macs will see better chipsets this year. With the M1 Max and M1 Pro already out, it will be easier for Apple to make the transition from Intel chips to its own and that is exactly what the iPhone maker is expected to do this year. We may see new MacBook Air and iMac models with the two new versions of the M1 chipset. The MacBook Air, in particular, will also feature a redesign this year, and I am keen on knowing what that will be. The MacBook Pro will get a new entry-level model, as well. The Pro Display XDR may also see an upgrade this year.
Apple’s iPad lineup is expected to bring in wireless charging this year. And, of course, the top-end iPad Pro, if not other models, would carry that feature. But that may be the biggest feature to come to the iPad this year. Gurman is not expecting an M2 processor anytime soon for the iPad lineup.
Currently in the works are at least three smartwatches slated for launch this year. Apple may launch the Watch Series 8 with features such as body temperature measurement, a Watch SE with better specifications but affordable price, and a new ruggedised version for sports enthusiasts.
AirPods got an upgrade recently, but that was mostly about the design and the MagSafe charging, which Apple wants to popularise among its products. This year we may finally see the launch of AirPods Pro 2 and it may bring features such as lossless audio support. Rumours even suggest that the charging case of the AirPods Pro 2 will also play music. However bizarre that sounds by Apple standards, it may be an interesting way to club a speaker with earphones.
Finally, the holy grail this year will be the Apple headset. Now, while some reports suggest it will be a proper headset, some suggest it may feature glasses – so as to justify the name “Apple Glasses”. Codenamed N301, the Apple VR headset will have AR features and run the company’s new software rOS, codenamed Oak. Several rumours point at the release timeline of 2022 for the headset, but like before the launch may slip again.