Tech

Apple just revealed major upgrade to least expensive phone, a new Mac desktop computer, and more

Business Insider US
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the new Apple TV+ "Friday Night Baseball" programming during the March 8, 2022 livestream presentation.
  • Apple held an event on Tuesday afternoon to announce updates to a few major products.
  • The least expensive iPhone, the iPhone SE, got a more powerful chip and 5G capability.
  • A new Mac desktop computer was revealed for the first time, the Mac Studio.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Apple held a product-heavy presentation on Tuesday afternoon where it detailed a slew of major upgrades to existing hardware and outright debuted a new desktop computer.

The "Peek Performance" event, as Apple called it, continued the company's ongoing plan to put its own chips into every device it makes.

Here's everything that was announced, from a major iPhone SE upgrade to a new desktop computer:

1. A deal with Major League Baseball for "Friday Night Baseball" — a programming lineup coming to Apple's subscription streaming service, Apple TV+.

Apple

Before any hardware was announced, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to talk about Apple's digital streaming subscription service, Apple TV+. 

His primary announcement was straightforward: Major League Baseball is coming to Apple's subscription service.

"Fans will be able to watch marquee games on Friday nights, free from local broadcast restrictions," Apple said in its press release about MLB programming on Apple TV+.

The service is centered around programming on Friday evening, and is named "Friday Night Baseball." Outside of Fridays, the partnership brings a "24/7 livestream with MLB game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games, and more, as well as a full complement of on-demand programming, including highlights and MLB-themed original content" to Apple's subscription service. 

There's no hard date for when the service will come to Apple TV+, with Apple only saying it will start, "as soon as the regular season begins."

With the ongoing MLB lockout, that could be awhile.

2. A new iPhone SE, with a more powerful processor and a 5G connectivity.

Apple

Apple's least expensive iPhone, the iPhone SE, is getting a significant upgrade: A new, much more powerful chip (the same one that's in the flagship iPhone) and 5G connectivity.

Unfortunately, it's also getting a slight price bump from $400 to $429.

That still puts the iPhone SE's starting price hundreds of dollars below Apple's flagship iPhone 13, which starts at $800.

The new model retains the same design as the previous generation and outright replaces it on Apple's online storefront. Pre-orders open for the new iPhone SE on Friday morning, and the phone is scheduled to launch on March 18.

3. A new iPad Air, with the same powerful processor as the iPad Pro and 5G connectivity.

The newly-upgraded 2022 iPad Air.

The iPhone SE wasn't the only Apple hardware that got a new chip on Tuesday: The new iPad Air, now entering its fifth model generation, comes equipped with the same M1 chip that powers the much more expensive iPad Pro.

Like the new iPhone SE, the new iPad Air is also getting 5G connectivity, and it's also retaining the same overall design as the prior model. Unlike the new iPhone SE, the new iPad Air retains the same price as the prior model: $599 to start.

Pre-orders for the new iPad Air are scheduled to start this Friday, with launch scheduled for March 18.

4. A new Mac desktop computer, named Mac Studio.

Apple

In a surprising twist, Apple unveiled a new product on Tuesday: The Mac Studio desktop computer. 

Unlike the massive Mac Pro, the Mac Studio more closely resembles the diminutive Mac Mini — albeit double or more the height of Apple's entry-level desktop computer. 

In terms of where it fits on the Mac desktop product line, its size and price match its power: It's more powerful and more expensive than the Mini, but not as powerful or as pricey as the Mac Pro. 

Mac Studio features the M1 Max chip, and can be made even more powerful by upgrading to the newly-introduced M1 Ultra chip — a chip that Apple said offers, "faster performance than even the highest-end PC GPU available."

But that chip upgrade, alongside included upgrades to memory and storage, will cost you. 

The base-level Mac Studio starts at $2,000 and comes with the M1 Max, but the Mac Studio with the new M1 Ultra chip starts at double that price: $4,000. 

Beyond the new chip, the more expensive Mac Studio model comes with more memory, storage, and a few extra ports. The new Mac Studio is available for preorder starting today right here, and is scheduled to launch on March 18.

Watch the entire event right here:

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