Welcome to our monthly Apple News Roundup. This column recaps the top 10 biggest Apple news announcements from each month. This edition features the highlights from March of 2022.
1. Apple unveils M1 Ultra — the world’s most powerful chip
Apple announced the M1 Ultra which is the most powerful and capable chip for a personal computer. Available in the all-new Mac Studio, the chip features UltraFusion—Apple’s innovative packing system that interconnects the die of two M1 Max chips to create a system on a chip with unprecedented performance and capabilities. “M1 Ultra is another game-changer for Apple silicon that once again will shock the PC industry,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies.
2. Apple halts all sales in Russian online store
Due to the continued Ukrainian invasion, the Apple Online Store in Russia has halted sales of all products in Russia. Ukrainian minister Mykhailo Federov previously called on Apple to stop operating all services in Russia, including iCloud and the App Store. Several other tech and media companies have since followed suit and limited access to state-backed Russian media. Additionally, Apple shared a comprehensive statement on the situation.
3. Apple announces the new iPhone SE
The new iPhone SE is the most affordable iPhone featuring an iconic design, the powerful A15 Bionic (which powers advanced camera capabilities and enhances the photo editing and gaming experience), 5G, better battery life, improved durability, and a new camera system—featuring Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles, and Deep Fusion. The iPhone SE comes in three colors—midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED and is now available for purchase.
4. Apple reveals new products at Peek Performance event
At Apple’s March 8th “Peek Performance” event, the company revealed a host of new products aimed at creators living on a budget. The aforementioned M1 Ultra chip and the new iPhone SE were among these products. The iPad Air also got a refresh and a new set of specs—at a price comparable to Android’s best mid-range tablets. Also announced was the new Mac Studio—the ultimate Apple machine built into a small aluminum box, that is available with the M1 Ultra chip configuration. The Studio Display pairs well with this new Mac, as does the green iPhone 13.
5. Apple’s Impact Accelerator presents business opportunities
Last fall, leaders from 15 companies across the US participated in Apple’s inaugural Impact Accelerator—a three-month virtual program that included customized training and access to Apple mentors and an alumni community. The Impact Accelerator was launched in 2020 as part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative and is designed to support equity and opportunity in the environmental sector for Black-Hispanic/Latinx and Indigenous-owned businesses—on the cutting edge of green tech and clean energy. Learn more about the program here.
6. Apple launches first driver’s license and state ID in Wallet
Apple announced Arizona as the first state with access to add their driver’s license and state ID to Wallet. Arizonans can simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch and securely present it at select TSA security checkpoints in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Additional states will offer this feature soon—including Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and the territory of Puerto Rico, as well as the seven states Apple previously announced. For more information visit apple.co/wallet-id.
7. Apple plans new hardware subscription service
Apple is planning to change how customers buy hardware products, starting later this year with the iPhone. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is planning to let users buy iPhone and iPad hardware “similar to paying a monthly app fee.” The move would fit into Apple’s ongoing push toward subscription services as a whole and could tie into Apple One bundles and AppleCare.com. The service is slated to launch by the end of 2022 or in 2023.
8. Apple buys UK fintech startup
Apple has acquired British fintech start-up Credit Kudos—a firm that develops software that uses consumers’ banking data to make informed credit checks on loan applications. The company operates in a space in the world of fintech known as “open banking.” The deal reportedly worth $150 million, signals that Apple is looking to broaden the scope of its financial offerings. Additionally, the Apple Card provides benefits such as daily cashback rewards, and UK users will presumably be able to launch the Apple Card in the UK and other countries.
9. Apple’s $4.7 billion in Green Bonds supports technology
Apple plans to use the world’s first commercial-purity low-carbon aluminum from ELYSIS—the company behind the world’s first direct carbon-free aluminum smelting process—in the iPhone SE. The company’s investments in Green Bonds have helped jump-start the development of new low-carbon manufacturing and recycling technologies. “Apple is committed to leaving the planet better than we found it, and our Green Bonds are a key tool to drive our environmental efforts forward,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. For more information visit investor.apple.com/Apple_GreenBond_Report.pdf.
10. Apple’s “CODA” wins Oscar for Best Picture
“CODA” became the first film with a predominantly Deaf cast to win Best Picture at the 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles held on March 27. And this award makes Apple the first streaming service honored with Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Star Troy Kotsur is also the first Deaf male actor to win an Oscar and Siân Heder won Best Adapted Screenplay. “What an incredible journey it has been since the moment we first saw ‘CODA’ to today’s historic recognition from the Academy,” said Jamie Erlicht, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “CODA” is now streaming on Apple TV+.