Apple’s 2022 Lineup Said to Include Rugged Apple Watch and AR/VR Headset

Apple’s 2022 Lineup Said to Include Rugged Apple Watch and AR/VR Headset
Photo: Victoria Song

Chip shortages and declining demand are complicating things for Apple, but these won’t stop the company from launching a range of new products next year, of course. But now we have some idea of what to expect.

Beyond the predictable annual refreshes, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, via his Power On newsletter, revealed a few surprising additions to Apple’s portfolio. These include a new Apple Watch SE, the first update since the more affordable watch launched in 2020. Keeping with smartwatches, Gurman says three new Apple Watches will arrive next year, including a ruggedised version for athletes to go along with a standard edition.

We don’t know much about this extra-durable model, but I’d be on board with a Casio G-Shock equivalent for the Apple Watch, something I could take hiking or climbing without worrying about its delicate glass and metal.

Photo: Alex Cranz Photo: Alex Cranz

After launching the new MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16, Apple is said to be giving the MacBook Air some love by finally redesigning its ancient chassis and swapping the engine for an M2 processor. Topping my wishlist for the Air are thinner display bezels (preferably without a notch, but Apple will be Apple) and more colours, à la iMac.

A revamped MacBook Air is one of only five Mac products Gurman expects to arrive next year. Apple’s most portable laptop will debut alongside a new entry-level MacBook Pro 13 with an M2 chip. On the desktop front, we have a refreshed Mac mini, a Mac Pro (with Apple silicon), and a more powerful iMac all-in-one. Rumours claim the latter will have a 27-inch (or larger), mini-LED display and run on the M1 Max/Pro chips found in the latest MacBook Pro models.

Apple will predictably release several new iPhones models toward the end of 2022. A lot can change between now and then, but the rumours so far are encouraging, with Gurman and oft-cited Apple leaker Jon Prosser anticipating redesigned entry-level and Pro models. Adding to the rumours is noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s report from earlier this year claiming the iPhone 14 will ditch the notch for a hole-punch front-facing camera and use a 48-MP main camera sensor in the back.

Speaking of redesigns, Gurman says the iPad Pro will flaunt a new chassis with wireless charging capabilities. Those who’d rather not spend $US1,000+ ($1,419)+ on a tablet can start saving for new iPad Air and entry-level iPad models. I’m interested to see what Apple does with its most inexpensive model because the current version feels like it’s from a previous era.

And finally, Apple is said to be entering a new category next year by launching an AR/VR headset. Just last week, Kuo said Apple wants to replace the iPhone with an AR headset in the next 10 years, and now Gurman predicts Apple’s first effort will arrive in 2022. We don’t know what form the iPhone-replacing version will take, but this first edition will supposedly focus on gaming, media consumption, and communication. Gurman says the device will have multiple processors, a fan, “extremely high resolutions displays,” and a separate App Store.

Apple hasn’t confirmed any of these products yet, but Gurman has an excellent track record for reporting on devices before they debut. While we wouldn’t get our hopes too high given the current chip manufacturing woes caused by the pandemic, Apple’s forecasted releases for next year are some of the most intriguing in years.

Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.