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Apple sets date for first product launch of the year

<i>Apple/CNN</i><br/>Apple is gearing up for its first big product event of the year.
Apple is gearing up for its first big product event of the year.

By Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business

Apple is gearing up for its first big product event of the year.

The company announced Wednesday it will host a virtual event, with the tagline “Peek Performance,” on March 8. Apple is rumored to be unveiling a series of new MacBooks and iMacs featuring the second iteration of its powerful in-house processor, as well as a 5G version of its more-affordable iPhone SE smartphone and an updated iPad Air.

The event invitations, sent to members of the press, come one day after Apple announced it would stop selling all of its products in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

If the event’s tagline is any indication, Apple will likely play up the importance of its rumored M2 silicon chip. Apple’s in-house processor is expected to make its debut in a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, a Mac mini, a 24-inch Mac, and a completely redesigned MacBook Air, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Apple launched its first in-house M1 silicon chipset for its computer lineup in November 2020, shifting away from years of using a one-size-fits-all option from Intel. The company claimed it was the world’s fastest CPU core and fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer. A year later, Apple introduced its M1 Pro and M1 Max processors to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro line.

While Apple typically launches its flagship iPhone devices in the fall, the rumor mill indicates it could launch its third iPhone SE following its initial release in 2017 and again in 2020. The device is expected to run on Apple’s faster A15 Bionic chip, features an updated camera and could drop the classic notch usually found at the top. The next-generation iPad Air is also said to be getting the same A15 processor, 5G connectivity and a new camera.

In January, Apple reported record revenue during the all-important holiday quarter fueled in part by demand for its latest lineup of iPhones. CEO Tim Cook said at the time that the supply chain delays over the holiday shopping season have since improved, indicating people won’t have to wait as long to get new devices in their hands this spring.

At its “Spring Loaded” event last year, Apple revealed a new iPad Pro, colorful iMacs, a purple iPhone and AirTags, a Tile-like Bluetooth locator that attaches to and helps you find items such as keys, wallets, laptops or even your car.

Apple’s event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET.

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