2020 and 2021 were some of the most exciting years yet for Apple releases. Over these two years, Apple unveiled Apple silicon, a completely new direction for the Mac lineup, much-improved iPhone designs, new additions to the HomePod and Apple Watch lineups, and more. And while I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, something tells me that 2022 is going to be another exciting year for new Apple products.
We get to look forward to the M1 successor, the new, colorful MacBook Air, a round of iPad updates, possibly the long-rumored Apple Glasses, and of course, the iPhone 14.
In this post, we’re going to go over everything that we expect, both from rumors and hunches, Apple to release this year. We’ll also be covering what you can expect these products to look like because after all, that’s half the fun of anticipating Apple’s moves. And at the end of this post, we’ll cover the events that are likely to take place at Apple HQ this year.
I’m as excited as you are, so let’s not waste any more time and jump straight into these predictions!
The new Apple products to look for in 2022
The iPhone SE (3rd Gen)
First on our list is the next generation in the iPhone SE series. I’m personally a huge fan of Apple’s SE products, and others who share my enthusiasm will be glad to know that an updated iPhone SE is going to be available this year.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like this year’s iPhone SE is getting the Face ID treatment. It’s going to keep using Touch ID with a Home Button. That might be good news for those who still hate the notch, but for those of us who want a budget iPhone with Face ID, the jury’s still out.
When it comes to form factor, we’re expecting an iPhone SE that looks identical to the previous generation. This will be an under-the-hood update to keep the device relevant and powerful for 2022.
Hopefully, Apple keeps the iPhone SE around for years to come, long enough that we eventually see one with the updated Face ID, Home-Button-free design.
The iPhone 14 will be launching with the new Apple products in 2022
In news that will shock absolutely no one, we fully expect there to be an iPhone 14 this year as part of Apple’s launch of new Apple products. It will be later in the year, come with a few different standard and Pro models, and feature a similar-ish design to last year’s model. The cameras and chips will be better so that it’s a bit faster and better at taking photos.
Something substantial we do expect to change this year is the design. Current rumors suggest that Apple will be removing the camera bump. This will make the iPhone is flat on the front and back. I actually have mixed feelings about this. The bump is symmetrically a bit displeasing, but a flat iPhone is difficult to pick up when it’s laying on a flat surface. The bump gives you space to get your fingers underneath it.
Another design change that rumors are expecting is the removal of the notch on Pro models. I’m not necessarily convinced of this, though. I do think we’ll see a reduced notch on all models, but to remove the notch Apple would have to place the sensors beneath the screen, and I’m not convinced that this tech is solid enough for this to work yet. Maybe I’m behind the times, though!
A disappointing change, at least for me, is that Apple will most likely be removing the iPhone mini from its lineup and replacing it with a larger iPhone. The company tested having a smaller iPhone among its default lineup last year. And, sadly, sales didn’t turn out as it had hoped. So we’ll see the default iPhone return to its normal size, the mini model disappear, and a larger model available for a price hike.
The Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 7 was a banal update by all accounts, especially following the exciting Series 6. Well, this year we should be in store for an exciting Series 8 update.
The Series 8 is expected to have a new design, potentially a flat design to match the recent iPhone and iPad models, with a bigger screen. It’s also anticipated that Apple will launch an even larger display size and a heavy-duty model of the Apple Watch. This heavy-duty version will be a bit bulkier and more robust, able to handle heavier beatings and survive more exposure to the elements.
As for sensors, we don’t yet know if there will be any new hardware available in this area. That would be a great surprise, as new sensors always improve the Apple Watch experience. But for now, we’re expecting aesthetic and performance updates more so than feature updates.
The Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)
Another Apple Watch model that’s going to be among the new Apple products this year should be the Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen). The first generation of the Apple Watch SE was my introduction to the Apple Watch lineup and it has been a great device for me over the years. I wear it every day and have never had a single issue with it.
Based on the iPhone SE rumors, I’m not expecting the Apple Watch SE to have any substantial hardware updates. My prediction is that it will get a new processor and better battery life, and possibly a lower price tag.
That said, there are rumors that the update to the Apple Watch SE will be more substantial. While the form factor will remain the same, some say we’ll see the ECG sensor, always-on display, and fast-charging added to this year’s model. I guess time will tell (pun intended)!
iPad (10th Gen)
While the iPad doesn’t get as regular updates as the iPhone and Apple Watch, it still sees routine launches. And this year, we’re expecting just such a release.
That would be the 10th Gen iPad. This base-level iPad remains one of the best, most popular, and most affordable Apple devices around. In 2022, we’re expecting the base-level iPad to get a spec bump, but not much else.
This iPad, like the iPhone SE, is meant to be a budget-friendly entry point for new Apple users. Keeping the design simple and familiar saves Apple money and helps keep the price low. So we don’t expect Apple to change this.
And as far as we know, Apple isn’t cooking up anything too groundbreaking for the iPad this year. So there aren’t likely to be any new peripherals or insane updates. This device will hopefully launch earlier in 2022 rather than later, so if you’re planning on grabbing an iPad soon, wait until after March!
The iPad Air (5th Gen)
The iPad Air is expected to see a similar update this year as well. It’s already got a great, modern design, so we don’t expect anything too exciting in that department. And we aren’t expecting it to get the M1 chip, either, which the iPad Pro got last year.
Instead, we’re looking at an A-Series chip update, a front-facing camera bump to match the iPad mini, and possibly 5G connectivity. This last update would be the most significant, as 5G is becoming increasingly available around the world.
Other than that, you can expect the same great iPad Air experience you’re used to. The 4th Gen iPad Air is the iPad I have and it’s among my favorite devices I’ve ever purchased. Looking forward to its continued support from Apple!
The new, colorful MacBook Air
My most anticipated launch of all of the new Apple products coming in 2022 is the MacBook Air update. If the rumors are accurate (and I pray that they are) this will be one of the biggest updates to the MacBook Air in the last ten years.
Rumors suggest that the upcoming MacBook Air will see a design overhaul to match the recent iMac redesign. Those who have read my 2021 iMac review will know that this was one of my favorite Apple products ever released. I’m writing this article on it right now and it’s a beautiful, powerful machine and a great addition to my home office.
The redesigned MacBook Air will feature a similar colorful design. The Space Gray lineup (boo) will be replaced with a series of colors that match the new iMac. Yellow, green, orange, red, blue, and silver. The keyboard will have white keys instead of black. And the tapered wedge design will be replaced with a chunky MacBook. Similar to the iPad Pro.
And of course, we hope that this new MacBook Air will come with the latest M-Series chip at the same great price of $999. If these rumors are true, I will be grabbing this MacBook Air at launch as a companion to my iMac.
The only bad news about this rumor is that it looks like it will be released this Fall rather than this Spring like we originally hoped. Other than that, rumors for this device are still going strong!
The M2 chip should be a part of the new Apple products this year
Next on the agenda for new Apple products is the M2 chip. This is perhaps my second most anticipated product of 2022. The M1 chip made massive waves whenever it was unveiled in 2020. And its successor, the M1X, was an equally exciting release.
Looking ahead to the M2 chip, we expect similar core counts and RAM limits. That’s eight CPU and GPU cores each and RAM limits from 8GB to 16GB. I suspect that this will be announced at WWDC over the summer and deployed in a product this Fall, though some reports say we’ll see the announcement and release in the Fall.
You can certainly expect that this new chip will outperform the M1 and M1X chips by a decent percentage, though the jump probably won’t be as mind-blowing as the M1 chip was when it launched.
The one thing I hope for with this launch is that the rumors around the RAM are inaccurate. I have to say that after owning the M1 iMac for six months with 8GB of RAM, it does get stressed now and again. Especially when two people are logged in at once. I’d love to see a default 16GB and an upgrade to 32GB available. 8GB doesn’t seem to match the M1’s performance as well as you might suspect.
Time will tell!
The new MacBook Pro 13″ and Mac mini
One of the oddest releases of the M1-era has certainly been the MacBook Pro 13″. That’s because there isn’t that much “Pro” about it. Since it features the same processor as the iMac, Mac mini, and MacBook Air from its generation of devices, its performance is nearly identical. The only advantage it has is increased thermal support over the MacBook Air.
This year, we’re expecting an updated MacBook Pro 13″ among the new Apple products set to launch. And we hope that this will come with a more meaningful performance difference.
This MacBook Pro will most likely launch with the M2 chip, a standard LCD screen, and no Touch Bar. If this is the case, it will signal the final death blow to the Touch Bar, an innovative but otherwise unpopular MacBook Pro feature. We are not expecting the MacBook Pro to get the colorful MacBook Air treatment, which might be a good or bad thing depending on your opinions on that design scheme!
We’re also expecting an updated Mac mini. It looks like the mini is going to be a regular part of Apple’s Mac lineup once again. Apple had seemingly forgotten about the Mac mini for a few years. But it’s revived it with the M-series chips. Look forward to a slightly thinner case, the M1 Max/M1 Pro chip, more ports, a MagSafe power cable, and an updated high-end Mac mini.
This will remove yet another Intel-based Mac from Apple’s store (the current high-end Mac mini still uses Intel), moving us a step closer to a total M-series takeover.
An AirPods Pro/Max update
Another Apple product that might see an update in 2022 is the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. There have been rumors about stemless AirPods Pro headphones for some time now, and 2022 seems like a sensible time to expect these.
Stemless just means that the little stick attached to the earpiece (the part that everyone claims looks like a Q-Tip sticking out of your ear) would be removed. It would only be the bud sitting in your ear. Aside from this, we’re not sure what new features the AirPods Pro update would bring.
There aren’t any rumors on an AirPods Max update just yet. But the devices are nearing update territory, assuming Apple is going to keep these headphones around. I own a set of these and would love to see continued support. They’ve been a great product so far. More resistance to moisture, a better case, and the ability to replace a damaged headband would be great features for an update.
AR Glasses might be among the new Apple products in 2022
Nearing the end of our predictions for new Apple products are AR glasses. This is something that has been highly anticipated for several years, and personally, it’s my most-anticipated product of the last 2-3 years.
For those that don’t know, it has been a very strong rumor that Apple is developing AR glasses. This would resemble Google Glass but rather than being a prototype, it would be a fully-realized product. That means reliable environment tracking, critical features, and long-term support.
AR glasses are a (mostly conceptual) device that you would wear on your face. It would then project digital elements on your physical environment, similar to the Measure app on your iPhone. This would allow you to see text messages, internet searches, calculations, apps, and more in your surroundings.
Picture yourself getting directions in Maps. Instead of looking at your phone, though, you just look at the road or the sidewalk and see that it’s highlighted blue. This is just one scenario out of infinite scenarios where this tech could be useful.
I believe that this type of device (paired with an Apple Watch) will eventually replace the smartphone as we know it today. And, eventually, I believe that 99% of our daily computing will be conducted with some kind of glasses.
Right now, the rumors are pointing to Apple’s AR glasses being a high-powered device, with Mac-level processing power, a design similar to the AirPods Max, and a release date that could be as soon as 2022. You can read more about our predictions for Apple’s AR glasses here.
A new desktop display
A far less revolutionary rumored product to be launched by Apple in 2022 is a new desktop display. Apple has been missing a quality, affordable desktop monitor from its lineup for a few years now. And with all of the attention being placed on the Mac lately, it only makes sense that Apple would add a display back to its lineup.
There isn’t too much info on this product as a monitor doesn’t quite generate the same level of hype as the other items on this list. We do expect it to be around 27″, though, with mini-LED lighting and possibly Pro Motion.
Other than that, we’re just hoping for a price tag that we can afford!
A HomePod update might be a part of new Apple products in 2022
Last but not least, we’re expecting a potential HomePod update.
The HomePod has had a rocky lifespan since its initial release. So rocky that it doesn’t even exist anymore – just its miniature offspring, the HomePod mini. Apple discontinued the HomePod itself last year.
We’re not sure if the HomePod is going to see a revival. Nor if the HomePod mini is here to stay. But this is a market that Apple wants to break into, clearly. And its main competitors (Google and Amazon) have succeeded in the smart speaker market already.
For these reasons, I anticipate that Apple is going to either try a new direction with HomePod this year or abandon the product altogether. I hope it’s the former, but either way, we’ll see if the future of HomePod changes in 2022!
The Apple Events to tune in for in 2022
The Spring Event in March
And that’s it for the new Apple products we’re expecting in 2022. Now, let’s cover the events you can expect to find these Apple products at, starting with the Spring Event.
Each year, Apple hosts a Spring Event, where odds and ends products like AirPods and HomeKit devices are announced. During this event, which is coming up shortly, we expect to see the updated iPad, iPhone SE, a HomePod update (maybe), and possibly an Apple services update. That could mean tweaks to Apple One plans or new iCloud features.
The Spring Event is usually a way of warming up for the year to come. Here, Apple will update products that aren’t exciting enough to garner their own event. It’s the roundup event before the big events later in the year.
Additionally, we’re expecting macOS 12.3 to be released around the time of this event, which will bring Universal Control to your Mac!
The WWDC keynote and conference in June
My favorite event, WWDC, is slated for June of 2022, just like it has been every year prior. WWDC, short for the Worldwide Developers’ Conference, is where Apple announces updates to its software, some hardware, and gives us an idea of what to expect when the big products are launched in the Fall.
This event is a lot of fun for a few reasons. First, the announcements give you insight into what Apple is working on rather than what it’s selling. As a techie, this is far more interesting than getting another iPhone.
Second, big announcements tend to happen during WWDC. This is where we learn about hardware like the M1 chip, the future of Apple computing, and the cutting-edge tech Apple is developing.
Third, WWDC is where we get our first glimpse of the next series of OS updates for Apple devices. This is big news, as it’s essentially making all of your Apple products better for free.
Apple doesn’t always announce new products at WWDC. Though we’re thinking they may unveil the new M2 chip, a new MacBook and/or Mac mini, and possibly a new desktop display.
The Early Fall Event in September
A few months later, in September, is when we expect to get the Early Fall Event. This is where Apple has unveiled the latest version of the iPhone for several years in a row, and we expect that this year will be no different. If you’re excited about the iPhone 14, this is where you’ll get your first glimpse of it.
This is also where the bulk of new Apple products are announced. That includes the new Apple Watch models, the colorful MacBook Air, and possibly the M2 chip if it isn’t announced sooner.
We anticipate that, if Apple Glasses are announced this year, the Early Fall Event is where we’ll see them shown. This would make sense, as this is the most-watched Apple event. Seeing the new AR glasses displayed alongside the new iPhone will be an exciting sight for sure.
The Late Fall Event in October
The last event of the year (usually) is the Late Fall Event. Like the Spring event, this is a bit of a roundup. It’s for products that don’t fit into the iPhone and WWDC events end up.
Most likely, you can expect some of the new iPads, Macs, and AirPods to be unveiled during this event. Apple also sometimes announces new software features, especially ones that were promised at WWDC and haven’t been deployed yet.
Catch all of the new Apple products in 2022
And that’s it! Those are all of the new Apple products to look forward to this year. Our favorites are going to be the new MacBook Air, iPhone 14, M2 chip, and AR glasses (if they get here!). Be sure to mention your most anticipated products in the comments. And tune in here at AppleToolBox after each event to get the scoop on what was announced.
For more insights, news, and guides on all things Apple, check out the rest of the AppleToolBox blog.
See you next time!