Apple spring event: XR headset, Mac Pro, new HomePod, more

Apple only held one event in the second half of 2022: its iPhone 14 launch show. That meant a bunch of expected devices, from Macs to a mixed-reality headset, never saw the light of day. But that could soon change.

That’s because rumors have been swirling that Apple is planning a product extravaganza this spring where it will unveil a host of new devices to the world. If that’s true, what should we expect to see? Well, you’re in the right place to find out, as we’ve collected all the latest rumors here. Wondering what’s next on Apple’s 2023 calendar? Read on to find out.

Mixed-reality headset

A render of Apple's VR headset.
Apple AR/VR headset render Ian Zelbo

After years of delays, the rumors surrounding Apple’s mixed-reality headset are gaining momentum. With the launch of the Meta Quest Pro and the announcement of the HTC Vive XR Elite, now feels like the right time for Apple to step into the fray. And just in time, it seems that Apple is planning to reveal the secretive, long-awaited device in the spring, or possibly at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Thanks to a massive leak from Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, we now know almost everything we can expect from the headset, which will purportedly be called Reality Pro. The device will likely come with a plethora of impressive specs, including high-resolution displays, hand- and eye-tracking capabilities, a large array of cameras, and a much more lightweight design than its competitors. There will also be a switch resembling the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown that will let you swap between virtual reality and augmented reality.

Given all that tech, a price of around $3,000 has been suggested. That would be expensive, yet Apple will apparently sell each unit at a loss, according to Gurman. That says a lot about how packed with high-end tech the device could be. Apple is reportedly planning a cheaper version that will have a price tag closer to $1,500, but that’s not expected to launch until 2024 or 2025.

But hold your horses — there’s a chance the Reality Pro won’t actually make it to Apple’s spring event after all. Gurman claimed in a February report that his sources had told him the headset’s launch date had been pushed back from April to June. The cause is reportedly a series of software and hardware issues that Apple has yet to remedy. A June launch would not only give Apple more time to put things right, but would give the company an ideal platform to showcase the headset and explain how it works to a global audience of developers, many of whom will want to create apps and experiences for the platform.

Whether or not Gurman’s report is accurate remains to be seen. But without the Reality Pro headset, Apple’s spring event will feel much emptier. Will Apple even feel it’s worth doing the show with just a couple of products? We’ll have to wait and see.

Apple silicon Mac Pro

apple mac pro 2019

Almost every Mac has at least one model powered by an Apple silicon chip — except the Mac Pro. We know a new version is coming because Apple admitted as much at its Peek Performance event in March 2022. With that show taking place almost a year ago, though, the Mac Pro’s upgrade must be imminent.

That means it’s almost a certainty for the rumored spring event. Yet after waiting so long, it could be a disappointing device. According to Gurman, Apple has abandoned its M2 Extreme chip that was made specifically for the Mac Pro, while the chassis is going to remain the same as the current model. Meanwhile, there will be no upgradeable graphics options and no upgradable memory, which could make the Mac Pro a hard sell given its sky-high price.

15-inch MacBook Air

The screen of the MacBook Air on a table.

Apple hasn’t strayed from the familiar MacBook Air formula of either 11-inch or 13-inch sizes. That could soon change, though, as there are strong rumors that Apple has a larger 15-inch model in the works.

More specifically, the 15-inch MacBook Air will supposedly get a 15.5-inch display, according to industry analyst Ross Young. Most of the other details are shrouded in mystery for now, but we’d expect the device to be very similar to the existing 13-inch MacBook Air in almost every way.

That means we should expect the same chassis design, the same display (only larger), and the same M2 chip. There’s a chance the 15-inch model will get an M2 Pro chip, but that’s still up in the air (sorry). The rumors are pointing toward this coming later in the year, but you never know — depending on what chip it uses, that could change.

New 27-inch display

The Mac Studio and Studio Display at Apple's Peek Performance event.

When Apple launched the Mac Studio, it also revealed a companion monitor called the Studio Display. While it’s certainly impressive, it’s missing a few features that would really take it to the next level. That could change at the spring event.

Young believes Apple has a new monitor up its sleeve that will boast both Mini-LED and ProMotion technologies. Those features are absent in both the Studio Display and the much more expensive Pro Display XDR, and could make the new monitor an irresistible prospect for its target audience.

What’s not coming to the event?

A person sitting in a vehicle using a MacBook Pro on their lap.

Before mid-January, we were expecting a few more devices to launch at the spring event. That included new versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, a refreshed Mac mini, and a resurrected HomePod.

Then Apple did something unexpected — it launched all of those devices through press releases. On January 16, there were rumors that updates were imminent for Apple’s flagship laptops. Sure enough, the next day the MacBook Pro was updated, with new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips being more or less the only changes of note that came to the products.

At the same time, Apple updated the Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro chips, which was totally unexpected and not leaked ahead of time. The Intel Mac mini was finally phased out, leaving the Mac Pro as the only Apple computer that has not yet totally switched to Apple silicon.

Then the next day, there was another surprise as Apple relaunched the HomePod, almost two years after the larger model was discontinued. It now means there are once again two sizes of HomePod to choose from, with the HomePod mini still being sold.

With those products all launched in January, it means the potential roster for Apple’s spring event is looking a little thinner. There are still plenty of potential devices that could be announced, though, so there’s still a lot to look out for.

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