Peek Performance

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on Peek Performance:

You can now preorder iPhone SE 3, iPad Air 5 and iPhone 13 in green


iPad Air 5
Secure yours before delivery dates start slipping.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Store is live again after several hours of downtime on Friday morning, and that can only mean one thing. It’s time to place your preorders for the third-generation iPhone SE, the fifth-generation iPad Air, and iPhone 13 in green.

All three devices are scheduled to make their official debuts one week from today — on Friday, March 18. But initial stock is likely to sell out fast, so if you want one on launch day, you’d better secure your preorder quickly.

How Apple Studio Display stacks up against Pro Display XDR and others


The Studio Display, Pro Display XDR, iMac 24″ and 16″ MacBook Pro.
From left to right: The 16″ MacBook Pro, the 24″ iMac, the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR.
Photo: Apple

We have been blessed to live in interesting times. For the first time since 2010, we have not just one, but two external monitors from Apple.

How does Apple’s latest offering — the Studio Display, introduced during Tuesday’s “Peek Performance” event — stack up against the high-end Pro Display XDR, the outgoing LG UltraFine 5K and the displays of other Macs?

Let’s dive in.

The Mac is back, with its best lineup in years


The Mac lineup has never looked better.
The Mac was neglected today, but there's still some exciting stuff in the works.
Photo: Apple

In 2010, Steve Jobs proudly proclaimed Apple had become a “mobile device company.” Tim Cook went further, dismissing anything that wasn’t a mobile device as a “hobby project.” It sounded like the Mac’s days were numbered. At Cult of Mac, we even ran a story on how to replace your Mac with an iPad.

How things have changed. With Tuesday’s launch of the Mac Studio, Apple completed the best Mac lineup we’ve seen in more than a decade. The new M1 Ultra chip offers unprecedented desktop performance. And longtime Mac fans will welcome the return of Apple’s Studio Display monitors.

The Mac is most definitely back. So what happened? Why did Cupertino fall out of love with the Mac, and what prompted the change of heart?

Here are the Macs we didn’t get at Apple’s spring event, but still might


Here are the Macs we didn’t get at Apple’s spring event
The MacBooks, iMacs and Mac mini that were rumored for the “Peek Performance” event didn’t appear.
Photo: Apple

When CEO Tim Cook left the stage at the end of Apple’s “Peek Performance” event, he took the hopes of many MacBook and iMac users with him. Because there was just one Mac introduced Tuesday, the Mac Studio.

But some of the computers not announced are still expected to launch. Just not now.  Here are the Macs we didn’t get, and which ones to look for from Apple in the coming months.

Apple TV+ movies sizzle reel shows a network at less than peak performance


Apple TV+s Luck
Luck, which features a dragon voiced by Jane Fonda, is just one of the star-studded films coming to Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

Apple kicked off Tuesday’s Peek Performance event with a look at the upcoming Apple TV+ slate of movies — and it’s not a very pretty picture.

You can look forward to the kind of forgettable, star-studded stuff that Netflix has become so adept at providing a rapacious public, most of whom seem just as eager to forget these types of movies exist. While promising Martin Scorsese film Killers of the Flower Moon remains free of both a release date and a trailer, the Apple TV+ sizzle real showcased several upcoming movies that don’t inspire confidence.

Tim Cook wears Ukrainian colors during Peek Performance event


Tim Cook in Ukrainian colors during the Peek Performance event
Tim Cook wears the colors of the Ukrainian national flag during the Peek Performance event.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t often wear colorful Apple watch bands, but he made an exception during Apple’s Peek Performance event on Tuesday.

Cook emceed the event wearing an eye-catching yellow Sport band. Paired with his blue sweater, Cook seemed to be making a subtle gesture of support for the embattled country (yellow and blue are the colors of the Ukrainian national flag).

Apple calls new M1 Ultra ‘world’s most powerful chip for a personal computer’


Apple's new M1 Ultra chip is the most powerful one ever in a personal computer.
Apple's new M1 Ultra chip is the most powerful one ever in a personal computer.
Photo: Apple

When Apple rolled out the first M1 chip in late 2020, it seemed like a pretty big jump forward. Then the new M1 Pro and M1 Max in MacBook Pro models blew people away in October 2021. Now the Cupertino tech giant calls its latest M1 Ultra chip in the new Mac Studio desktop computer “the next giant leap for Apple silicon and the Mac.”

It’s almost like when Neil Armstrong got back from taking “one giant leap for mankind” on the moon in 1969 — if someone had told him, “you can toss that jalopy you went up in. Now we’ve got a real spaceship for ya.”

Apple said at its “Peek Performance” event Tuesday that the M1 Ultra is “the world’s most powerful chip for a personal computer.”

Apple Studio Display brings high-end monitor down to affordable price


Apple Studio Display
The new Apple Studio Display.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Studio Display, revealed Tuesday alongside the new Mac Studio desktop, finally brings a high-end Apple monitor at a more-affordable price point.

Like the MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR, the new 27-inch 5K monitor features TrueTone, P3 wide color gamut, studio-quality microphones, a six-speaker sound system, a thin bezel and optional nano-texture glass. But at $1,599, it costs just a fraction of the Pro Display XDR’s eye-watering price.

“The Studio Display is in a class of its own,” said Nicole Kordes, Apple’s engineering program manager for Mac, during Tuesday’s Peek Performance event. “Along with a gorgeous screen. It’s loaded with incredible features that no other desktop display can deliver. And it provides that integrated experience Mac users love.”

Apple TV+ scores Friday night Major League Baseball games [Updated]


Apple TV+ scores Friday night baseball
Apple TV+ will stream Friday night baseball games as soon as these are available again.
Photo: Apple

Apple and Major League Baseball announced “Friday Night Baseball,” a weekly doubleheader with live pre- and postgame shows on Apple TV+. This is the first live sports available on the streaming service. And it won‘t require a subscription. At least not at first.

Of course, at this point there is no baseball. The MLB and players union are fighting over money, and the 2022 season is in jeopardy.

Apple’s new Mac Studio is a blazing-fast desktop with an M1 Ultra chip


Apple Mac Studio
Mac Studio is by far Apple's fastest desktop to date.
Photo: Apple

Apple on Tuesday gave us our first glimpse at its brand-new Mac Studio — its first desktop featuring the M1 Ultra chip. It’s bigger than a Mac mini but smaller than a Mac Pro, and it’s the most powerful machine Apple has built to date.

Its M1 Ultra chip makes Mac Studio twice as fast as a high-end MacBook Pro, with a 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and up to 128GB of unified memory. And it’s still amazingly efficient.

New iPhone SE brings serious upgrades at slightly higher price


The new iPhone SE is available is available in the same colors as before, but it's much-improved on the inside.
The new iPhone SE is available is available in the same colors as before, but it's much-improved on the inside.
Photo: Apple

As widely predicted, Apple launched its third-generation iPhone SE during its “Peek Performance” event Tuesday. The new entry-level handset features 5G connectivity, a speedy A15 Bionic chipset, improved battery life, greater durability and up to 256GB of storage, Apple said.

And it will cost $429, a not-too-painful bump over the previous model’s $399 price tag.

iPad Air 5 goes super-fast with M1 processor


iPad Air 5 goes super fast with M1 processor
The iPad Air gets a major speed boost with a Mac-quality processor.
Screenshot: Apple

The iPad Air 5 is one of the highlights of Apple’s March product event. While not a redesign, the new midrange tablet offers a faster processor, Center Stage support and other improvements.

“With the breakthrough M1 chip, Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, and ultra-fast 5G, iPad Air is now more powerful, more capable, and simply more fun than ever,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s head of marketing.

Apple goes green with new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro colors


Peek Performance event: Green is the iPhone color of the day.
Green is the iPhone color of the day.
Photo: Apple

Apple added two new green finishes to its iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro lineups Tuesday to generate a colorful midseason jolt of excitement.

“Today we’re introducing two gorgeous new finishes,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during the streamed “Peek Performance” event. “iPhone 13 looks stunning in this bold new green with its precision-milled back glass and color-matched aluminum edges. And iPhone 13 Pro in a sophisticated new alpine green joins the most Pro lineup we’ve ever created.”

iPhone SE 3 upgrades could include MagSafe and Ceramic Shield glass


iPhone SE
And it could still start at just $399.
Image: Apple

The third-generation iPhone SE, which could make its first appearance at the big Peek Performance event later today, may be the first entry-level Apple handset with MagSafe support and a Ceramic Shield display.

That’s according to the most recent rumor, which also claims iPhone SE 3 will offer improved battery life and a better camera for the same $399.

M1 iPad Air could feature 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM as standard


iPad Air 4
And it could land later today!
Photo: Apple

Recent rumors indicate Apple’s fifth-generation iPad Air — which could be unveiled today during the company’s Peek Performance event — will match iPad Pro in performance. And they weren’t kidding, according to the latest leak.

In addition to a speedy M1 processor, the new midrange slate is expected to feature 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM as standard. That’s twice as much room for apps, games, music and movies than the most recent model offers.

BRB: Apple Store goes down ahead of Peek Performance event


Apple Store down iPhone 13
New products on the way!
Image: Apple

With just hours to go until Apple kicks off its big Peek Performance event, the Apple Store has predictably closed its virtual doors.

“Be right back” reads the message that greets visitors who attempt to purchase anything through the company’s website this morning. When it returns, we expect a whole bunch of new additions, including an iPhone SE with 5G.

What to expect at Apple’s March 8 event: New iPhone, iPad and Mac [Updated]


Peek Performance: What to expect from Apple March 8 event
It's almost Apple time.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Spring 2022 will bring an array of new Apple products, if the rumor mill proves correct, and we’ll get our first look Tuesday. Numerous leaks point to an improved 5G iPhone SE and iPad Air coming soon. And a new Mac (or multiple Macs) might show up, too. Maybe even a new M2 processor as the lineup completes the transition to Apple silicon.

All of this could be unveiled on March 8, when Apple holds its “Peek Performance” event. Or that could be just the first of multiple Apple spring events.

Mac Studio desktop might appear at Tuesday’s Apple event [Updated]


Mac Studio desktop might appear at Tuesday’s Apple event
This render supposedly shows the Mac Studio that’s possibly set to debut at the Apple spring event.
Render: Luke Miani/Ian Zelbo

Although the first leak of the Mac Studio came only a few days ago, it’s already been followed by an unconfirmed report that the mid-range desktop will debut at the March 8 Apple event. A second tipster later said the same.

Renders showing the Mac from several angles have also leaked. And details of a new Apple external display, too.

How to watch Apple’s big ‘Peek Performance’ event


Watch Apple's Peek Performance event
Don't miss Apple's newest announcements.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

We’re just a day away from Apple’s big “Peek Performance” event, which is expected to bring upgraded iPhone, iPad and Mac models. Cupertino could also have other sweet surprises up its sleeve — like a new desktop display.

Whatever the case may be, you won’t want to miss it if you’re an Apple fan. And you don’t have to! Here’s how to stream the enter March 8 event live.

A sneak peek at Apple’s ‘Peek Performance’ event [The CultCast]


Apple Peek Performance event predictions March 8: Here comes the first new Apple gear of 2022.
Here comes the first new Apple gear of 2022.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: We can’t stop speculating about what new Apple gear we’ll see at Tuesday’s big “Peek Performance” event. Best bets are iPhone SE, iPad Air and … some kind of Mac?

Also on The CultCast:

  • Will this really be a big year for Apple Watch?
  • Apple punishes Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
  • Social media gets gory during wartime.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.