Apple Event predictions: iPad Air, AirPods Pro 2, iPhone, MacBook Pro & more?

The T3 chance-o-meter takes a look at the rumoured launches for Apple's spring event and judges their likelihood

Apple event 2022 Tim Cook standing in front of a window at Apple Park
(Image credit: Apple)

It's Apple Event time once again! On March 8, Apple will unveil a host of new products – we're expecting a range of stuff, with a heavy focus on Macs in particular.

But exactly what stuff should we expect, and how strongly should we expect it? I've gazed into T3's crystal HomePod Mini to see which rumours seem like they'll come to something, and which look more feeble – or perhaps look like they're probably accurate, but now just isn't the time.

I've given a rating out of 10 for how likely I think these products are to appear, with 1/10 being 'No Mac-ing way' and 10/10 being 'It's already in your shopping basket, somehow'.

(And no, before you ask, a crystal HomePod Mini doesn't sound as good as a normal one. It was a terrible idea.)

iPad Air (2022)

I've no doubt that this is coming – some would say it's overdue. The iPad Air (2020) is the only model that doesn't have a 'Centre Stage' front camera, for example, and is the only iPad in the new design that doesn't include 5G. So expect those two things to be added, along with a new A15 processor.

Likelihood rating: 10/10

iPhone SE 3 with 5G

Yeah, this looks pretty damn likely. It also just makes sense. In the last 18 months, Apple has aggressively adding 5G support to its cellular products – assuming the iPad Air gets 5G at the same event, the only non-5G products will be the cheapest iPad 10.2-inch (probably for cost reasons) and the Apple Watch (probably for battery reasons). Otherwise, I believe the rumours that it will keep the same design and will get a boost to the A15 processor.

Likelihood rating: 9/10

MacBook Pro 13-inch with M2 chip

This has gone from looking like an outside chance to feeling very likely. There have been lots of new rumours in the last couple of weeks, and it now looks like the smallest MacBook Pro won't get a redesign, which might be why it'll be the first laptop with the M2 chip – it'll be easier to implement. There are still question marks over whether it will lose or keep the 'Touch Bar' second screen, but right now the smart money is on something just like the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) with the updated processor. However, when it will launch I'm less certain of – I wonder if the "peek performance" title is partly referring to the event being a first look at this model, but with a launch later in the spring.

Likelihood rating: 7/10

Mac Mini with M2 processor

If the MacBook Pro 13-inch gets updated with the M2, then I think there's a strong chance that the Mac Mini will follow in the same footsteps: same design, new chip inside. The Mac Mini is absolutely ripe for a redesign given how slim a machine with Apple's new processors can be, but there have been effectively zero leaks or rumours about this… but, if anything, a more 'boring' update makes it more likely to actually happen.

Likelihood rating: 6/10

MacBook Air with M2 processor

I'm very confident at this point that we'll see a radical new MacBook Air 2022 model this year, with an impossibly slim design and funky colours to follow the 24-inch iMac's example. Until recently, I would've said it'd be certain to launch alongside the M2 processor, because the Air is Apple's most popular model. But all the smoke signals are saying to expect it to launch later in the year – so again, we might see a sneak preview here, but I think even that is unlikely. I'm still going to give it some chance of appearing just because it's such an important product in Apple's M2 line-up, but don't hold your breath.

Likelihood rating: 4/10

Mac Studio

This rumour suddenly burst onto the scene in the last week or so, though it's also been around for a while. Basically, this is said to be the name of the Mac Mini with an M1 Pro/M1 Max chip inside, as seen in the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch (2021). So we've been expecting this product, but weren't sure when, or what name it would have. It's also said that a new display to match it will be released. This one seems likely overall, since all the parts of it already exist, though I also would be surprised to see it a little later.

Likelihood rating: 8/10

Apple Studio Display

Along with the Mac Studio, it's now said that Apple will launch a new monitor at around $999/AU$1399 during its next event. It'll apparently be a 27-inch screen, and won't include the mini-LED tech from the Apple Pro Display XDR. In that case, it'll probably have essentially the same specs as the screen in the current 27-inch iMac: a 5K display, around 500 nits of brightness, and P3 colour gamut support. The interesting things will be whether it supports 120Hz refresh rates, and whether it'll include extras such as a colour sensor for True Tone, or a webcam.

Likelihood rating: 7/10

iMac Pro (or iMac Studio?)

Take the 24-inch iMac with its super-slim design, expand the screen to 27 inches, add mini-LED backlighting for better contrast, and add the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips… and that's the rumoured recipe for the new bigger iMac. The rumours say this won't appear until later in the spring, or even early summer, so it would be a bit of a surprise – but, again, Apple has all the component parts in other products already, so it could easily come earlier than expected. We thought it might be called the 'iMac Pro', but the 'Mac Studio' suggestions above make me wonder if 'iMac Studio' is more likely.

Likelihood rating: 4/10

AirPods Pro 2

There's been a ton of talk about what AirPods Pro 2 will be. We're expecting a slightly smaller design with lossless wireless audio and better noise cancellation and audio quality, essentially. But when will they arrive? It looks extremely unlikely to be at this event (apparently, production is only just about the start), and Apple likes to release AirPods just before Christmas. However, it has released them in spring before, which is why I give this any chance at all.

Likelihood rating: 2/10

iPad Pro (2022)

If the M2 appears, will Apple update the iPad Pro (2021) that included the M1 chip right away? I suspect not – nothing else in the tablet market even comes close to their power, so there's not a lot of impetus for Apple to update it… unless it wants to add a mini-LED screen to the smaller model (only the 12.9-inch model includes it currently). I've no doubt this is in Apple plans, but I don't see any hurry for it, especially when there are so many Macs waiting for release.

Likelihood rating: 4/10

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.