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What We Didn't Get From Apple's iPhone 14 Event

AR, Mac Pro and other Apple updates will have to wait for October or later.

Tim Cook smiling and holding an iPhone 14 in front of a crowd of people
Apple CEO Tim Cook showing off the iPhone 14 at Apple's "Far Out" event on Sept. 7.
James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET's collection of news, tips and advice around Apple's most popular product.

This week's Apple event held few surprises: it was a traditional lineup of annual iPhone, Watch and AirPods launches and not much more.

Updates to other Apple products, like the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 and iPad Pro, were never likely to be announced at this event, though there's talk that Macs and iPads will be featured at a rumored October Apple event. There are also those Apple products that don't seem to have a regular update cycle (yet), like AirTags, the Mac Pro desktop or the HomePod. We didn't hear about them this time, and there's no telling when they'll be back in the spotlight. 

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Not even a peep about 'Apple Reality'

We don't expect to hear much from Apple about its much-anticipated AR/VR/XR/WhateveR glasses, currently rumored to be branded "Apple Reality," until 2023, but there's always a possibility that the company will drop a hint or deliver some sort of progress report. Especially since some of the updates incorporated into the new A16 Bionic CPU, which seem to focus on better graphics performance, power management and image processing, would seem to dovetail nicely (though the current word is that Apple will be using a higher-end chip, like the M2, for the headset/glasses). But there wasn't even an allusion wrapped in a whisper about Apple's wearable tech.

iPad and iPad Pro

Apple doesn't normally announce new iPad models in September -- iPad Pros generally launch in October, and the more mainstream models in the spring -- but it broke with that pattern in 2021, revealing an overhauled iPad Mini and refreshed iPad in September 2021. Since Apple uses the same mobile CPUs as the iPhones, the timing seems a good fit. 

The iPad Pro announcements, though, were always more likely for October, and we expect more news then. These iPads use the same M-series processors as the MacBook line and target a similar buyer.

The 2021 iPad Pro

Time for an M2 iPad Pro?

Apple

Service updates

There were also no updates for Apple's Self Service Repair program or subscription services like Apple One, or any hints about upcoming shows for Apple TV Plus, games for Apple Arcade, and so on. The company talked about the recyclability of the iPhone's components, so an update about the repair program seemed like a natural extension of this news. And, since Apple Arcade is geared for mobile users, a new game demo -- even in passing -- would have been welcome. 

M2 Mac Mini and iMac

These desktops haven't even received stealth updates to the M2 chips Apple rolled out earlier this year; the Mac Mini has remained the same since it was upgraded to M1 in November 2020 and the year-plus-old iMac is still on M1 as well. But news about Apple desktops tends to arrive in either October or May, so don't count them out just yet. 

M2 Pro, Max, Ultra, SuperDuper and MacBook Pros

OK, the "SuperDuper" is just my inner-child's name for whatever upscaled monster Apple decides to put in its long-awaited Apple-silicon-based Mac Pro. We're still waiting for actual higher-power versions of the M2 launched earlier this year that are analogous to the M1 variants (M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra) currently in the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 and Mac Studio. Among other things, the M2 chips support more memory, which can be key for buyers of the Pro hardware. October is also traditionally the time for these types of systems to debut, and word has it that M2-based versions of the laptops are going into production soon.

apple-wwdc-2019-mac-pro-case-design2

I'm ready for my Apple silicon now.

James Martin/CNET

Mac Pro and Pro Display

The Mac Pro is Apple's last remaining Intel-only system (you can still get an Intel-based Mac Mini, but it's optional), and we've been waiting for word about an Apple-silicon model for (what seems like) forever. The current model debuted in 2019, and while configuration options have been refreshed over time and rumors have circulated about new models, it's remained a pretty low-profile product in Apple's portfolio. The company briefly mentioned it was working on a Mac Pro refresh during its March event, but I expected to hear more at WWDC in June. Nope. Followed by nada this week.

The Pro Display XDR also launched in 2019. It's still good, but display technology has evolved quite a bit in the interim, and it could use an update or a less expensive sibling, which the Studio Display turned out not to be. (I'd love a panel that could handle a refresh rate of more than 60Hz, for example.)

We really (really) didn't expect Apple to announce new models of these at the iPhone 14 event, but we are hoping to hear something about the Mac Pro in October. Or we might have to wait until 2023.