Apple has big plans for 2022, including iPad Pro and MacBook Air overhauls

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Apple in 2022
It could be another great year.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly plans ambitious upgrades for a number of its hottest products in 2022, including major revamps for iPad Pro and MacBook Air — as well as an Apple silicon boost for the Mac Pro. Mac mini is also expected to see a refresh.

What’s more, the next-generation Apple Watch will come in a “ruggedized version aimed at extreme sports athletes.”

2022 could be a great year for Apple fans

The past year certainly hasn’t been a disappointment for those of us who enjoy new Apple devices. We saw the usual refreshes for iPhone and Apple Watch, plus some pretty stellar upgrades for iPad Pro and the MacBook Pro.

But Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman called 2021 a “modest year” for Apple in his latest Power On newsletter — and said he expects 2022 to bring a “wider range of new products.” Here’s what you can look forward to.

iPad Pro with wireless charging

A substantial iPad Pro revamp that will bring wireless charging for the first time is on the cards, Gurman said. There’s no word on what kind of physical changes we’ll see. However, Apple will need to adapt iPad Pro’s chassis to implement wireless charging, since its current aluminum unibody wouldn’t work.

iPad Pro already made the switch to Apple’s desktop-class M-series processors, and it’s only going to get faster as new silicon becomes available. However, it’s unlikely iPad Pro will see the same M1 Pro or M1 Max chips found in the new MacBook Pro lineup, since that would just be overkill.

Gurman also expects to see updates to iPad Air and the entry-level iPad in 2022 — as is typically the case.

Another great year for Mac

Since Apple finally made the decision to ditch Intel processors, the Mac just keeps getting better. That transition will continue next year, Gurman said, with the first Mac Pro powered by custom Apple chips. We also should see a new high-end iMac.

Rumors surrounding the latter, which some are calling a new iMac Pro, suggest the machine could feature an “M1 Max Duo,” which is essentially two M1 Max chipsets fused together for double the performance. There’s already evidence to suggest Apple is paving the way for this upgrade in macOS.

Apple supposedly will introduce a massive MacBook Air refresh, too — one of the biggest yet for its most popular notebook. It could bring a next-generation “M2” chipset and an improved form factor that’s even thinner.

The Mac mini likely will get a refresh in 2022, probably with the same M2 chip on the way. We may also see an entry-level MacBook Pro, which could recycle the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s design.

A rugged Apple Watch

Gurman also repeated previous predictions about a new Apple Watch with a significantly more rugged form factor for extreme sports enthusiasts who regularly spend time in harsh environments. It should arrive alongside an upgraded Apple Watch SE and, of course, a next-generation Apple Watch 8.

It’s not completely clear what we can expect from a more rugged Apple Watch. However, Apple likely wants to compete with the likes of Casio’s incredibly popular G-Shock brand. Cupertino made Apple Watch’s display tougher with the Series 7 refresh, but you still need a bumper case for added protection.

iPhone, AirPods and an AR headset

Alongside the somewhat obvious “iPhone 14” refresh, and a new iPhone SE equipped with 5G connectivity, Gurman expects AirPods Pro to get an upgrade in 2022. But they’ll be far from the most exciting wearable on the way.

Gurman corroborates claims from other reliable sources, including TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who say Apple will finally debut its first mixed reality headset next year. The device is expected to offer both augmented and virtual reality for all kinds of applications and games.

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