Apple’s ‘Peek Performance’ Event: 6 Biggest Announcements

The Apple rumor mill still has some wins, but the tech giant shocked with a new supersized chip and high-end machine that’s all business.

Rumors were confirmed at Apple’s “Peek Performance” event Tuesday, but the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech behemoth had a few tricks up its sleeve – successfully head-faking with a couple of high profile releases that flew under the leakers’ radar.

It’s been a transformative couple of years for the company – since announcing that it would begin producing its own silicon chips to power its devices, leaving former partner Intel out in the cold. But the M1 series of chips proved to live up to the hype, delivering speeds that crushed competitors. Apple dropped its biggest bombshell during the event: the M1 Ultra chip, promising unheard of performance eclipsing that of its first M series chips.

Jason Dettbarn, founder of Addigy, an Apple device management software company, said the company’s unveilings may be part of a larger strategy focused on education and professional content creators. “We’ve gone back to the roots of serious creative tools,” Dettbarn said. “This event showed they are going back to what is needed for the high-performance business market. I’m excited because they are stretching the depth of their tools.”

CRN takes a look at all the six biggest announcements from the big event.

The M1 Ultra

The latest and greatest Apple Silicon will support up to 128 gigabytes of RAM, will be eight times faster than the standard M1 chip and is basically double the size of the mighty M1 Max that served as the former flagship of the Apple Silicon line.

“What we’re seeing is Apple being a chip company,” Addigy’s Jason Dettbarn said. “It’s exciting.”

The Mac Studio

One of the early leaks had the event showcasing a new Mac Mini – well, they were almost right. Instead, we were treated to news of a supersized Mac-Mini-esque machine with enough high-end specs to put the most serious available Mac Pro to shame. Starting at a price of $1,999, or $3,999 loaded with the new M1 Ultra Chip, this machine is not aimed at the same market as the Mac Mini. And Addigy’s Jason Dettbarn says that’s by design. “These studio devices are going to be low volume and high margin, so they will have a runway to future devices, like a MacBook Air with an M1 Ultra chip, for example. It gives them the runway to do something like that.”

27-inch 5k Studio Display with iPhone Chip

Apple’s new Studio display will complement its Mac Studio, offering 600 nits of brightness, support for P3 wide color and will work with macOS’s TrueTone feature. It also features a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera for video conferencing. The $1,599 monitor is ready to order now (shipments start on March 18).

iPhone SE with 5G and A15 Bionic CPU

The SE will be the mass-market entry-level phone featuring its newest A15 CPU at an attractive price of $429. The 5G-enabled device also features Touch ID and has a 4.7-inch screen. It will launch on March 18.

iPad Air with M1 Chip

Apple skipped cosmetic improvements on its new iPad Air and went straight for the guts: focusing on an eight-core M1 chip likes its bigger and pricier sibling, the iPad Pro. The new version will of course be upgraded to 5G on the cellular-equipped models and will feature a 12MP front facing camera.

Color Shift for iPhone 13

For a fun little feature nobody saw coming, Apple announced its iPhone 13 range will now have a green colorway. Preorders start Friday and the phones will be available starting March 18.