Apple will hold their “Let Us Loop You In” media event later today, March 21. While new, ground-breaking devices such as last year’s Apple Watch are not likely be announced, there should be something of interest to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users.
We’ll see the debut of a new 4-inch iPhone, the “iPhone SE,” which is expected to boast an A9 processor, an improved camera, and NFC support, making it compatible with Apple Pay. 3D Touch won’t be a part of the mix, as Apple will want to keep that feature for its flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus handsets this go-round.
The new device is said to be modeled on the iPhone 5s, being the same basic shape and size, but perhaps boasting a display with curved edges, although nothing as drastic as the iPhone 6s line.
The iPhone SE will be likely be available in Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold. As for pricing, the base 16GB device should be priced in the $400 to $500 range.
New 9.7-inch iPad
The 9.7-inch iPad is due for a refresh, as it didn’t receive any update love during last fall’s usual timeframe, so a new 9.7-inch iPad is also expected to make the scene, with features inherited from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. (It is expected that the new tablet will carry the “Pro” designation.)
The new tablet is expected to offer a four-speaker setup, a Smart Connector for connecting accessories, and is also expected to be compatible with the Apple Pencil. With the Smart Connector feature, we should see a 9.7-inch compatible Smart Keyboard, and possibly some new third-party keyboards and accessories for the new iPad.
Apple Watch Bands
Don’t expect a new Apple Watch to be announced today, Apple is expected to announce a second-generation Watch in September, alongside a new flagship iPhone. New Apple Watch bands, however, are also expected to debut at the event, with existing bands being offered in new colors, plus possible new bands – such as a much-rumored nylon band, as well as a Space Black Milanese Loop.
New Operating Systems
Apple should announce the release of iOS 9.3 for the iPhone and iPad, OS X 10.11.4 for the Mac lineup, tvOS 9.2 for the fourth-generation Apple TV, and watchOS 2.2 for the Apple Watch.
Possible, But Not Probable
While its been awhile since the last major Mac refresh, we probably won’t see a major announcement for Apple’s laptop or desktop lineups. It is possible there may be a processor refresh, making use of Intel’s latest “Skylake” platform. The new platform is said to boost battery life by as much as 30%, and CPU speeds by up to 20%, using a new 14-nanometer architecture.
“Out There” Predictions
My Macnificent podcast co-conspirator, Mr. Ian Fuchs has an interesting prediction, as seen below. I just wanted to put this here, so we can congratulate/make fun of him following the big announcements:
Possible unexpected announcement at next week’s Apple event – Beats speaker with Siri (like the Echo).
It just makes sense…
— Ian Fuchs ? (@IanFuchs) March 17, 2016
As for myself, and feel free to also ridicule me in the comments, I predict a new Apple Watch band that not only increases battery life, it also increases the health-related stats it can measure and track.
MacTrast will provide coverage of the event, as it happens, beginning at 10:00AM Pacific/1:00PM Eastern time. Be here for all of the action. Aloha!