Here’s what to expect from Apple’s ‘Peek Performance’ March 8th event

We'll likely see a new iPhone SE, iPad Air and possibly even a Mac Mini or MacBook Air

Because time doesn’t exist and is just a flat circle, it’s once again time for Apple’s near-annual March hardware event.

The keynote kicks off on Tuesday, March 8th at 10am PT/1pm ET and is an all-virtual event streamed through Apple’s website and YouTube channel. This time around, we’re expecting to see a new iPhone SE, iPad Air and possibly a Mac mini or MacBook Air.

The only hint we have from Apple regarding the event is the term ‘Peek Performance,’ which notably features the word ‘Peek’ and not ‘Peak,’ perhaps indicating that new Mac devices will be featured at the event.

As always, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and his ‘Power on’ newsletter is the source of most of the information you’ll find in this round-up, including even early reports that the event will be held on March 8th.

Let’s get into it.

iPhone SE

It’s near-certain that we’ll get a new iPhone SE at Apple’s ‘Peek Performance’ event. The last iPhone SE was released back in 2020, so the device is due for an upgrade.

Gurman’s reporting indicates that the new iPhone SE will still adopt an iPhone 8-like design, but that it will feature a 5G connectivity and possibly the A15 chip from Apple’s iPhone 13 series.

There’s also a possibility that Apple could ditch the iPhone 8 design for its new SE and shift to an iPhone XR-like aesthetic that doesn’t feature the physical home button.

iPad Air

Thanks once again to Gurman’s often-reliable sources, we also know that Apple likely plans to show off a new iPad Air at its upcoming event.

The new Air is expected to be very similar to its 2020 predecessor given the last update offered an iPad Pro-like squared-off redesign, minimized bezels and a side fingerprint sensor. Instead, the Air refresh is expected to mostly consist of 5G connectivity and the A15 chip, similar to the new iPhone SE.

There’s also a possibility that Apple could revamp the iPad Air’s current colour lineup.

New Macs

Though I don’t think we’ll see new Macs at this particular event, rumours have swirled for the last few weeks that at least one new device could appear, with recent speculation pointing to the Mac mini and possibly the MacBook Air.

Gurman, once again, says that seven new Macs are coming this spring, including the following:

  • New Mac mini with an M1 Pro chip
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip
  • Mac mini with an M2 chip
  • 24-inch iMac with an M2 chip
  • Redesigned MacBook Air with an M2 chip
  • Larger iMac Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chip options

Will all of these devices appear at Apple’s March event? The answer is, probably not. That said, we could see a redesigned, colourful M1-powered MacBook Air and a Mac mini that features the M1 Pro/Max chip. Some rumours point to Apple launching both devices with a new, more powerful M2 chip.

Everything else

More recently, reports have surfaced courtesy of YouTuber Luke Miani regarding Apple’s plans to reveal a new green iPhone 13 colour during its upcoming keynote. This is very similar to how the tech giant showed off a purple iPhone 12 during its ‘Spring Loaded’ event last year.

Miani also offers information on the Mac Studio, a new version of the Mac mini that reportedly features a taller design and the M1 Pro/Max chip, and a cheaper version of the Pro display XDR possibly called the ‘Studio Display.’ The Studio Display will feature a 7K resolution and run iOS, according to 9to5Mac.

We also might see the public release of iOS 15.4/iPadOS 15.4, which includes new Face ID functionality that allows you to unlock your smartphone while wearing a mask without the Apple Watch. Apple’s Tap to Pay functionality that turns the smartphone into an NFC payment system — which is only coming to the U.S. right now — could also get a public release.

Other more out-there things we could see at the event are Apple’s often-rumoured augmented reality AR headset and a cheaper version of the Pro Display XDR.

MobileSyrup will have all the news directly from the Apple event.

Update 03/08/2021 10:13am ET: Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman corroborated several of Luke Miani’s reports and says that the “Studio Display’ will feature a 7K resolution and will run iOS.

Update 03/07/2021 10:44am ET: This story has been updated with information regarding leaks surrounding a new green iPhone 13 mode, the Mac Studio and a cheaper version of the Pro Display XDR.

Source: Bloomberg, (1), (2) , Luke Miani (YouTube), 9to5Mac