Coming at Apple’s March 21st event: 4-inch iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro & new Apple Watch models

CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 16: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event introducing new iPads at Apple's headquarters October 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If Apple’s most recent hardware events were about going bigger (larger iPhones, a jumbo iPad, and a new Apple TV), Apple’s March 21st event is about going smaller. Apple yesterday officially sent invites to its much-anticipated event to be held at its Cupertino campus with the tagline “Let us loop you in.” The event, which was originally internally scheduled for a week earlier, will focus on Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone SE, a smaller, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and new Apple Watch bands. The company will likely also reveal the final versions of iOS 9.3, tvOS 9.2, watchOS 2.2, OS X 10.11.4, and an iTunes update. We’ve reported nearly the entirety of what’s expected to come at the event, so read on for a full roundup of everything we’re likely to see. (Updated March 18th with the latest information):

iPhone SE: The Return of the 4-inch iPhone

Name and Design:

The 4-inch iPhone screen size is back. After being introduced in 2012 with the iPhone 5 and expanding over to the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in 2013, the 4-inch screen-size became a thing of the past with the
launch of the iPhone 6 line in 2014. A couple of years later, the smaller screen is coming back with a new model called the “iPhone SE,” not an “iPhone 6c,” according to sources. Within Apple, employees refer to the “SE” designation in two ways. Some call it an “enhanced” version of the iPhone 5s from 2013.

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Others say that the term refers to “special edition,” indicating that this new iPhone model is special variant for those looking for a new 4-inch iPhone model. Apple initially planned to call the device the “iPhone 5SE,” according to sources, attaching the “enhanced” and “special edition” tags to the iPhone 5s. Why? Because the new iPhone will look nearly identical in external appearance to the iPhone 5s as we have been reporting since January. In fact, sources say that the iPhone SE will be compatible with the market’s existing iPhone 5s cases. And yes, unlike the iPhone 7, the SE will have a headphone jack.

There are only a pair of exceptions to the SE retaining the 5s’s design: its edges and color options. Sources say that internal prototype versions of the SE include potentially slightly rounded, more matte edges in comparison to the sharp, shiny, and scratch-prone chamfered edges of the iPhone 5s. While the diagram below shows a relocated power switch, the button will actually remain on top like with the 5s.When the iPhone 5s launched in 2013, it was available in three colors: space gray, silver, and gold. With the launch of newer iPhone models, Apple reduced the 5s’s color options to just space gray and silver. For the iPhone SE, Apple is bringing back gold and adding in rose gold.

Apple Pay, A9/M9 Chips, and Always-On “Hey Siri” Support:

While the outsides of the iPhone SE will be from the past, the insides will be mostly all modern. First up on the list is Apple Pay. Sources say that the iPhone SE will include an NFC chip in order to allow for mobile payments like the iPhone 6 and 6s lines. Also on board are the new A9 and M9 chips, significant upgrades from the A7 and M7 chips from the iPhone 5s. The A9 chip will unlock speed improvements like those brought by the iPhone 6s and the M9 chip will allow for more accurate motion tracking and always-on “Hey Siri” support. This means that a user can shout “Hey Siri” at their iPhone SE to activate Siri even if the device is not plugged in to power.

12 MP Camera, 4K Video, Live Photos, No 3D Touch:

Powered by the new internals are upgraded cameras and camera software. Like the iPhone 6s, the iPhone SE will be capable of taking and viewing Live Photos, pictures that embed a few seconds of video and audio before and after the time of the still photograph. On the iPhone 6s, these Live Photos are playable via a 3D Touch hard press, but the feature will work via a simple long press on the iPhone SE as the SE will not have 3D Touch.

Also unlike the iPhone 6s, sources say that the SE will not include a front-facing LED flash via the display. Sources say the flash feature won’t be present as it requires the iPhone 6s’s updated screen hardware technology. As for the megapixel counts of the SE, sources say that the 4-inch device will include the same camera as the iPhone 6s: a 12 megapixel sensor that shoots 4K video. Like on the 5s, the camera will likely sit flush with the device’s body.

Pricing, New Capacities & 5s Discontinued:

Sources say that the iPhone SE will replace the iPhone 5s in the iPhone family, and will likely be released within a week of the announcement. Upon the release of the SE, the 5s will be discontinued and the SE will take its price points.

As of today, the iPhone 5s is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities for $450 and $500, respectively. The SE will likely pick up those price points, but the 32GB option will be doubled to 64GB, making the capacity options 16GB and 64GB for the 4-inch iPhone.

This follows Apple’s recent pattern of eliminating 32GB iOS device storage offerings and retaining 16GB as the baseline. As we noted earlier, the iPhone SE will come in space gray, silver, gold, and rose gold, per sources. As for this fall, Apple’s likely iPhone lineup will be the iPhone SE, the iPhone 6s, and the next-generation 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones.

9.7-inch iPad Pro: November’s 12.9-inch Model in a Smaller Package

iPadPro9_7

iPad Air Design with iPad Pro Features:

Given that the new iPad coming at the March event is a 9.7-inch model, early reporting naturally dubbed the device as an “iPad Air 3,” a direct successor to the current iPad Air 2. However, we have reported that the new 9.7-inch iPad model will actually instead be a smaller iPad Pro. Like it did with its laptop line, Apple will likely begin eliminating the “Air” suffix from its iPad tablet lineup. Regardless of the internal features and naming, the overall design of the product will marry the iPad Air 2’s design aesthetic to the iPad Pro’s features. The overall size, shape, and weight of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will approach that of the iPad Air 2, but the device is expected to be slightly thicker according to leaked design schematics. Like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that launched last November, the new 9.7-inch model will include quad-speakers around the sides of the tablet. Michael Steeber created the mockup above of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

A9X Chip, More RAM, Smart Connector, Brighter Display:

Beyond physical design, the product’s features all match the larger iPad Pro model. Sources confirm that the new iPad will include the A9X processor and additional RAM from the larger version, in addition to a Smart Connector. The Smart Connector will expand the iPad third-party accessory marketplace, opening up the door for automatically pairing, self-powered keyboard attachments and input devices. Sources also say that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will include updated display technology that allows for the screen to become “noticeably brighter’ than that of the iPad Air 2. The new technology also unlocks the updated pixel technology from the 12.9-inch model needed for stylus support.

ipadpro97

Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil Support: 

As it does for the 12.9-inch model, Apple will release a Smart Keyboard attachment for the 9.7-inch version. The case is proportional to the smaller iPad and will include slightly smaller keys to fit in a full keyboard. The new model will also have full support for the Apple Pencil.

12 Megapixel Camera and 4K Video Recording:

While all of the functionality discussed thus far of the smaller iPad Pro lines up with the features of the bigger model, sources say that there will be a pair of key differences regarding the camera system. Sources say that the 9.7-inch model will include a 12 megapixel camera to match the iPhone 6s and best the 8 megapixel sensor on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Like the iPhone 6s, the new iPad Pro will also be capable of recording video in 4K resolution, a format that is higher-quality than the 1080p standard. Given that the new Pro model is more portable than the larger version, it makes more sense to include improved camera hardware. Some schematics have also shown the possibility of a rear-facing LED flash.

Higher Pricing, Capacities, and Discontinuing Older Models: 

Sources say that the smaller iPad Pro will start at $599 for 32 GB of storage. It is likely that the smaller iPad Pro will come in the same 32GB and 128GB variations as the larger iPad Pro as well as in the same space gray, silver, and gold color options. Upon the launch of the new iPad Pro, Apple will likely discontinue older iPad models such as the original iPad Air and iPad mini 2 from 2013. The new iPad Pro is expected to be released within a week of the announcement, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and iPad Mini will not be updated.

New Apple Watch Bands: A Line Refresh Ahead of the Apple Watch 2 in September

New Sport Bands: 

As with September, Apple will refresh its line of popular Apple Watch Sport Bands with all new colors for the spring. The new bands are expected to be available as standalone purchases and as part of whole unit Apple Watch purchases.

Black Milanese Loop:

As leaked on Apple’s website earlier this year, Apple is preparing a space black version of the Milanese Loop. Sources say that Apple initially intended to announce this band last September and release it around November, but it was delayed due to manufacturing bottlenecks related to applying the space black coating. Given that the space black Link Bracelet is priced higher than the standard version, it is possible that the space black Milanese Loop will cost slightly more than its silver variant.

James-Wrist-Shot

NATO-Style Nylon Bands:

In addition to updating existing band lines, Apple will for the first time expand its Apple Watch band lineup with new styles. Apple is preparing an entirely new set of NATO-style Nylon bands. These bands gained popularity in the 1960s when they were featured in multiple James Bond movies, and the presence of a new band style will likely temporarily help keep up Apple Watch and accessory sales until the redesigned model debuts in September.

The new bands are said to be made out of a “high-quality” form of nylon that has been in testing for several months. These straps likely will be oriented toward active Apple Watch wearers looking for a waterproof, but still fashionable, alternative to the fluoroelastomer band. Like with the Leather Loop and Sport bands, the lug attachments to connect the band to the Apple Watch face will be integrated into the band, meaning that they will sit flush with any Apple Watch variation and won’t feature mismatched metal.

New Hermès Bands & Partnerships:

It is also possible that Apple unveils additional band color options from Hermès, beyond the current brown, red, and blue shades, and additional band design partnerships. Sources say that Apple discussed expanded band partnerships for the Apple Watch with case maker Incase, but it is currently unclear if such a partnership is ready to be announced. Given the fashion focus of the device, it would not be surprising to see additional partnerships on stage beyond Hermès on March 21st.

Screenshot 2016-03-11 07.08.53

Extras: iTunes, iOS, OS X, tvOS, & watchOS Software Updates + Macs Unlikely

iOS 9.3: Apple so far has released six betas of iOS 9.3. The update adds a handful of new features. First is Night Shift, a Flux-like feature that automatically adjusts the color temperature of the display to reduce eye strain. There’s also support for Wi-Fi calling on Verizon, Touch ID Notes, new CarPlay features, and more.

tvOS 9.2: tvOS 9.2, which has also been tested via six betas, includes a host of enhancements. Perhaps most notably is Voice Dictation input for search and username/password entry. Additionally, there’s complete support for iCloud Photo Library, using Bluetooth keyboards, and Siri enhancements. the conference mode room also makes a return with tvOS 9.2. Here is a video overview of what to expect:

OS X 10.11.4: Similarly to iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4 includes support to protect the Notes app behind a password. There’s also improved support for Live Photos in the Messages and Photos apps.

watchOS 2.2: The 2.2 update includes support for pairing multiple watches to a single iPhone as well as enhancements to the Maps application. There’s a new screen of actions and Nearby search powered by Yelp. With watchOS 2.2, users can instantly navigate to home or work and find local businesses organized by type via a new Maps Glance.

iTunes Update: 

As Apple Senior VP Eddy Cue recently hinted, Apple is preparing to soon release an iTunes for Mac update, and it would make sense for it to launch alongside the aforementioned operating system software updates. Sources say that the new version of iTunes is unlikely to be a design refresh, despite Cue’s hints, but more so a series of bug fixes and minor interface tweaks for the application and Apple Music integration. A more wide-ranging Apple Music update is expected this fall alongside iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, which we reported will finally enable Siri support.

12-inch-macbook-gold-space-gray

No Macs:

Sources say that this event will likely focus solely around the new iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch announcements. However, both new 12-inch MacBooks and upgraded MacBook Pros are in the pipeline for this year. Faster MacBooks are in store for debut by WWDC, potentially in April or May, and new MacBook Pros coming by the second half of the year. Sources say that Apple has considered announcing new 12-inch MacBooks at this event, but the imminent release currently seems unlikely.

As always we will have live coverage of the keynote and will keep reporting the news as we get it ahead of March 21st.

Top Tim Cook Image via Getty Images.

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Comments

  1. Rich Abrahams - 7 years ago

    A snooze fest.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      Which you’re not forced to watch.

      • applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

        Reactions like yours are so stupid. Rich Abrahams just expects Apple to release awesome new products that is all. And you say ‘you’re not forced to watch’.

        It’s like you want your football team to play good football and win a the match and have someone tell you ‘you’re not forced to watch or support them.’

        Lame reaction. -___-

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        He’s right though. If this really is all Apple are going to announce they should have just done it via a press release. This is desperately dull stuff.

      • jamessmooth - 7 years ago

        I’m interested to see how apple does this. How on earth will they hype up a smaller phone with less features than their starting lineup? (No 3D Touch). Especially since all reports say the SE will be the “star of the show”.

    • Matt Saddler - 7 years ago

      A brand new iPad and iPhone just way too boring for you? So updates to over 1/3 of the primary product lines….. Perhaps fireworks? A hover car? Or maybe what you’re looking for is an announcement of two legged “Android” on the 21st.

      • tomi2711 - 7 years ago

        “Brand new” lol. Nothing on the iPhone or iPad is new.

      • Alex Simkin - 7 years ago

        But they’re not really new – both devices are literally last year’s specs in a smaller packages. There are no features in either that you couldn’t have had since late 2015 with a larger device. I understand that it’ll still be significant, but compared to WWDC, where brand new software is announced (contrasting to 9.3 being beta tested for two months beforehand), and the September event, where brand new specs and hardware is announced, this is relatively boring. It would be great if they announced new MacBook Pros, but even that isn’t happening.

      • Matt Saddler - 7 years ago

        Would it not make better sense to release new MacBook Pro’s at WWDC? New Hardware to tested with the new OS X developer betas? I would argue at the price point differences at the 9.7 inch iPad that it IS a totally new product. My 9.7 inch iPad has never had a desktop grade processor. Never Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support. It makes the iPad Pro hardware available to a far larger mass, not to mention the keyboard and pencil. I’ll admit that the iPhone is less exciting, but there is clearly a large market of people that have been waiting for this, and it is a new hardware design. The vast majority of the install base have never seen iOS 9.3. I’m not debating that there aren’t MORE exciting Apple announcements, but it’s hard to argue that Apple isn’t on their “A Game” with these announcements.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        @Matt uhhh the iPad would get these features no matter what.. iPad Pro is 100% marketing, and it is a horrible, horrible, horrible name for a mass market product. It’s sad that Apple once prided themselves in using good names and not ONLY going to marketing for the naming.

        It should be the much more simple
        iPad Mini
        iPad
        iPad Pro

        Or

        iPad Mini 4
        iPad 7
        iPad Pro

        Definitely not:

        iPad Air 3, or iPad Pro

        iPhone SE is equally embarrassing

      • @oOsmoothiesOo

        Agree on the naming. For the iPad line, Apple can easily simplify down to the following:

        iPad : 7.9″ ($299) & 9.7″ ($399)

        iPad Pro : 9.7″ ($599) & 12.9″ ($799)

        All starting prices, of course.

        Like the Mac line, there’s no need to keep selling the previous version model.

      • Oflife - 7 years ago

        No, but Apple have not innovated in years. The iPad Pro is a disaster of ergonomics, hence in my travels (am an ex MacBook Pro owner), the Surface Pro is everywhere, and I bought an SP4, the most useful powerful flexible device I have ever owned. A real innovative form factor that’s ergonomically excellent, and a real computer too. Not seen any Apple Watches either. It offers no immediate value proposition and is too fiddly to use, unlike the Pebble Steal that is a pleasure to use thanks to well positioned mechanical buttons, has an always on display and the battery lasts 3 or 4 days. Further, the best pen based tablets ever made were the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and more recent gaming focused Android model (whose brand I forget) also with an 8′ display and a stylus – a form factor that can be held in one hand whilst sketching, something you cannot do with even a 10″ iPad Pro. And we won’t talk about the unusably painful keyboard on the new MacBook. (Hence, never seen one of those on the train either, or Starbucks.)

        Apple have forgotten about ergonomics, versatility and value. And on the subject of value, where’s a nice new compact speedy expandable yet affordable Mac Mini?

        Actually, yes, boring. Way more excited about the forthcoming Galaxy Note 6 and Google Pixel C. Innovative, ergonomic and the future of computing.

      • bb1111116 - 7 years ago

        My problem with the rumor for the upcoming price of the 9.7 inch iPad Pro is that it will be $100 more at the entry level. I can’t see how this is a good idea for Apple. iPad sales have been dropping sharply. Tim Cook said that he was going to turn this trend around. Probably the most popular iPad model is the 9.7 inch size. And now Apple wants to increase the price by $100? The result will be fewer sales simply because of the cost. Some customers will go for tablet products from other companies or will need to postpone the purchase of a new 9.7 inch iPad until they can come up with the increased amount of money.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      It’s a snooze fest for those that aren’t in the market for anything that they are announcing, but others are interested in what they are announcing, so it’s not as much of a snooze fest. I personally am in the market for a new IPad and I am very much considering the new model and so far, so good. That’s about the only thing I’m actually in need of, other than that, it’s just for future purchases, but they’ll have other announcements for other products.

      Yeah, if I was someone that was an investor, yes, I would want other products announced, but apparently they might not be ready, they do have to wait until all of their suppliers and the OS is updated to support whatever new hardware they announce.

    • I agree. Even though Im sure its good products its not Event worthy. Its just various sized models of what they all ready have on market. What they are gonna talk about for an hour or so beats me.

  2. Alex Moran - 7 years ago

    38mm leather loop please

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Give them time!! They just didn’t have the materials or people to make that happen yet!

      • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

        I’m surprised they haven’t announced watchbands with other sensors built into the actual band. There is that hidden port on the watch isn’t there? Could that be used to connect to additional sensors built into a band?

  3. applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

    Where is my new Macbook Pro retina with Skylake? Also need 32GB ram. Seems odd to need mpre than 16GB of ram but believe me, I need it. I NEEEEEED IIIIITTTT!!!

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      The Skylake chiesthat would go in Macbook Pro’s have been priced for months, but still has not been released by Intel. Also the Pro’s should get some design cues from the MacBook. It will probably be WWDC before we see them.

      • I would venture a guess, we see them in Fall with a major Mac event – new MBP, updated iMac, MP, 5K TB Display (knock on wood)

      • Wes - 7 years ago

        The fall?! That would be just terrible. Way behind. The graphics chip in the current model is definitely showing its age. I hope they switch back to nVidia

      • Alex Simkin - 7 years ago

        The fall would be ridiculously late – the current MacBooks are already a year old. And I’m going to need a MacBook Pro for university – a fall event is too late so I’d have to get the March 2015 model, which would be awful.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      There are probably a few reasons why Apple is waiting to release new Macs. Here’s a few, don’t know if they all or some are the reasons or if there are other reasons I’m not aware of.

      1. Intel chips. Apple cherry picks what Intel makes and it’s possible they are waiting for models that simply aren’t shipping or shipping in high enough quantify. There were problems with certain Intel processors not too long ago, and even Microsoft had problems that their firmware didn’t fix, so maybe that’s one of the things that’s delaying Apple shipments.

      2. GPU for discrete GPU models. I have no idea what they are planning on using for any model that will have discrete GPUs, but whatever it is has to be something that’s also shipping in qty. I don’t know what they plan on using for the upcoming MacPro, MacBookPro, IMac, etc. or whatever they have planned.

      3. Thunderbolt 3. Right now, it’s a cart before the horse since there’s nothing shipping from the 3rd party TB device mfg. Plus, Apple might have to update OS X to fully support TB 3 before they ship anything. At least Apple doesn’t do a half assed job with Thunderbolt unlike Microsoft’s lame implementation of Thunderbolt.

      4. Potentially new screen technology. IF they are bringing out higher res screens, they have to make sure they have big enough yields from their panel suppliers.

      So, it’s potentially a combination, at least from the basic attributes of what the potential future Mac models. They can’t ship if they can’t get components fro suppliers or if they have to update the OS to reflect new I/O, etc.

      Does anyone know what’s going on with OS X 10.11? Are they including support for any new model Macs that aren’t shipping? That will give some idea, if not then maybe it’s a newer version of OS X that we need to wait for. Right now, they are playing with 10.11.4 beta and maybe we have to wait for 10.11.5 to support new Macs coming out.

  4. Alexander Fox - 7 years ago

    I asume, Apple will also introduce a new product, that will change everything. Again.

    http://imgur.com/ugbShAo

    • Apaches911 - 7 years ago

      No one likes a smart Arse Alexander.

      Apples innovation is not in doubt here.

      What phone were you using in 2007?

      Fisher price?

      • 3rdngoal - 7 years ago

        Speak for yourself, I like sarcastic creativity in any forms.

      • Nieuport28 - 7 years ago

        Get over yourself.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      This is an example of when an attempted joke should result in grave consequences for the joker.

      My response isn’t in defense of Apple, but in defense of intelligent thought.

  5. yt75 - 7 years ago

    NOOOOO !!! :( :(
    There NEEDs to be a new MBP in March !
    At least the 13″ !
    Nobody cares about these stupid watches

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      They can’t release new Pro’s until Intel starts shipping the Slake chips needed for the MacBook Pro.

      • yt75 - 7 years ago

        They are already shipping and already part of sold laptops, especially for the 13″, Vaio Z for instance, so this is not a valid reason at all.
        If no new skylake MBP is realeased in March it is a scandal.
        Crappy watches and watch bands, come on !!

      • @yt75

        No they haven’t. If you look at the Skylake – based laptops other OEM’s are releasing, they’re utilizing,at best, the Intel 530 GPU. Those GPU’s are not even Iris level, let alone Iris Pro level graphics.

        Look at the current rMB line – the 13″ is using the Iris Pro integrated graphics. The 15″ rMBP is using the Iris Pro integrated graphics that utilizes 128MB eDRAM. The equivalent Skylake processor would utilize the Intel 540 / 550 Iris GPU (for 13″ rMBP) & Intel 580 Iris Pro GPU (for 15″ rMBP). Those chips, although officially announced, are not ready yet.

      • yt75 - 7 years ago

        @Shameer, they ARE ready, at least the ones for the 13″, check the mac rumors thread about waiting for skylake (I’m not an expert, but I do need to update my MBP)

    • applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

      I agree. Apple Watch is about as boring as the iPod Touch bands they used to make for the previous iPod Touch gen.

      Not an Apple Watch hater, it has huge potential but today’s version is useless.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Absolutely correct. Apple shouldn’t have released it yet. Of the handful of things a smartwatch should exist for, it does only one of them, and that is notifications.

      • Edward Valentine - 7 years ago

        They had to release it. User and Developer feed back is the only way to move it forward to a useful tool. Think of any First Gen Product, pretty useless.

    • Edward Valentine - 7 years ago

      I care about these stupid watches :(

  6. tomi2711 - 7 years ago

    What the f is Apple thinking with this products? A 4 year old phone design with an awful name? Another fake “Pro” device thats inferior to the one released 4 months ago? Bands for a year old product? This should be done in a press release.
    I can’t believe we got to the point that the most exciting thing about an Apple event will be the launch date for a point release of iOS.
    Is there someone still working at Cupertino? or they decided that relaunching products from the past years was this year’s strategy?

    • jerenyun - 7 years ago

      It may be a 4 year old phone design, but having a new 4-inch iPhone is a welcome addition to the current lineup. That size is still ideal for true one-handed use. A 9.7-inch iPad Pro would still be more powerful than the current Air 2, and there are plenty of people who use that size and aren’t interested in the larger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro size.

      I can see the reasoning for bands being announced in a press release. I think they want to have some kind of feature on stage for the exposure, especially if introducing the Space Black Milanese and the nylon bands.

  7. triankar - 7 years ago

    By the looks of it, the two things I’m waiting the most for will not be announced:
    – iPad mini with Pencil support (if it gets announced, I’m selling my iPad mini 4 on the spot)
    – new MacBooks: hopefully a redesigned Pro, or at least up-specced MacBooks…

    • Jeff Podraza - 7 years ago

      completely agree my first gen air will be on eBay that day! Hoping for a 64GB version.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Considering we got extremely detailed information about the MacBook, you can expect no redesigned MacBook Pro until you start seeing rumors regarding that, which since there haven’t been any yet, start hoping for 2017

  8. Alex Simkin - 7 years ago

    I’m usually very excited for Apple events, but not so much for this one. The headline announcements, a smaller iPad Pro and the iPhone SE, are quite literally last year’s devices in a smaller form. And the software updates have been in testing for months, while the new Apple Watch bands seem worthy of a press release and nothing more.

    All I care about is new MacBook Pros, at least with Skylake and perhaps a redesign, but that’s seemingly being delayed. I’m guessing “new MacBook Pros coming by the second half of the year” means that they’ll debut at WWDC, which seems pointless if the only change is an internal processor bump to Skylake.

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      I imagine Apple will use so of the design of the MacBook in update MacBook Pro’s. They can’t release Macbook Pros now when the Skylake chips they would use have still not started shipping from Intel. They have been priced for months, but have not started shipping.

      • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

        Intel’s Core i5-6267U chip is suitable for the low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, while the Core i5-6287U is appropriate for the mid-range 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Core i7-6567U is suited for the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro. Current generation 13-inch MacBook Pros are powered by Intel’s Core i5-5257U, i5-5287U and i7-5557U chips.

        The direct upgrade path for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro would use the following quad-core chip options: a 2.6 GHz Core i7-6770HQ, a 2.7 GHz Core i7-6870HQ, and a 2.8 GHz Core i7-6970HQ, all coming in at the same price points as the Haswell variants currently used in the MacBook Pro.

      • Alex Simkin - 7 years ago

        Ohh I thought that the processors were available. If the ships for the Pros aren’t shipping yet, the delay makes sense. Hopefully there won’t be further delays and they’ll be released before/during June then.

  9. kpom1 - 7 years ago

    This is a relatively minor announcement, which is why it is at a smaller venue. That said, it’s an important announcement. I wonder whether the iPhone SE will be $450 or $550. At $450 with an A9, it could “steal” sales from the $650 iPhone 6S. That’s why I think it might initially be $550, which would probably hurt the stock price (as analysts are expecting a $450 iPhone to drum up unit sales).

    • valanchan - 7 years ago

      As long as an Apple device ‘Steals’ iPhone sales they have said that they do not mind.

  10. Tony (@tkukoc) - 7 years ago

    Yikes, not much at this event. I’m more on the software side of things anyway, I’m hoping they announce IOS beta 10 and show some of that. New iPad doesn’t interest me since I got the Pro. New macbook retina refresh wouldn’t interest me either, got one last year. Apple Watch bands, seriously? Those shouldn’t be an announcement at all, just show the new software if anything and be done with the Watch. They didn’t support the watch at all after release, small software patches all the time moving toward Apple Watch 2. Considering I didn’t use 99% of the apps on the first, not buying the second one. New..ahh old phone design.. that’s an easy pass but good for those who liked that design and wanted better internals.

    Overall, not much at this event to peak my interest. I’ll catch the highlights on youtube days after, not one I need to sit and stream and get excited about.. because there’s nothing to get excited about.

    • spiffers - 7 years ago

      New iOS and OS X betas are ALWAYS announced at WWDC, just .x betas are released during the year otherwize. This is common knowledge, as this has been the standard practise for at least 9 years now…

  11. felipesonlineblog - 7 years ago

    i wish they’d update their Mac Pro.
    The system’s graphics cards are about obsolete now since they are 3 years old.
    C’mon Apple !!

  12. hayesunt - 7 years ago

    “…& new Apple Watch models” I would definitely not call new bands for the Apple Watch new models. The headline seems misleading. I was excited for a few seconds there… =/

  13. I wish they’d just split up iTunes into smaller, more focused apps already. It has just gotten so bloated over the years and easily could become four or five independent and simpler apps, like iOS already has.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      With what engineers? They literally have like 10 software engineers. At least I hope they only have 10, since their software has been on a downward spiral of awfulness.

  14. modeyabsolom - 7 years ago

    Hey Siri…Hey Siri. Nobody uses Siri! It’s rubbish, I’m sorry but that’s how it is! Similar services from the competition generally work much better.

    Apple should stop offering it in new environments…Apple TV, CarPlay etc…unless they start to improve it considerably! Like AirPlay it’s neglected and not as good as solutions from other venders.

    • Doug Aalseth - 7 years ago

      I don’t know if NOBODY uses it, but I know I don’t. I use voice to text occasionally when I’m messaging, but Siri, not so much. And it isn’t Siri’s fault. It just feels awkward to talk to your device rather than typing. I guess I’m old enough that typing is how you interact with your computer. I feel very self conscious saying “Siri, what is the time in New Brunswick?” or “Siri, where is the closest Pizza Hut?” I can type that as fast. Even on my phone I’d rather type in my request. And yes I have played with Cortina, and whatever Google’s system is. Same problem.

    • Clay - 7 years ago

      I use Hey Siri when I’m driving and for various things in the morning while I’m getting ready and asking for the weather, etc. Driving is where I use it the most though.

  15. Jake Becker - 7 years ago

    There is a lot of fan service here…….a lot of very good news….what is wrong with you people? First world problems indeed. I can’t wait to get my new Space Grey 9″ iPad Pro & Apple Pencil.

  16. Amitai Palmon (@amitaip) - 7 years ago

    Talking about Macs, Apple should upgrade its iMacs line, and add base models having SSD fast storage. Today SSD is only optional. The time has come for a 256GB/512 GB SSD offering on iMacs base models.

  17. dComments (@dComments) - 7 years ago

    Those “manufacturing bottlenecks” of the space black Milanese Loop you are referring to are because of the chinese manufacturers already making $22 version, like the one I bought a few months ago on Amazon. It’s help up pretty well for $22, even when using it at the gym.

  18. Paul Inskip - 7 years ago

    I can understand the need for a 4″ phone I cannot understand the reasoning behind the company that has lead the world with its famous designs re-hashing an old design, as an apple fan it’s a poor decision,

    • Jake Becker - 7 years ago

      Yet when people drone on about how the old more square design was the best design and the 4″ phone was the best phone, there’s not a lot of detractors. There is obviously a market and those people are literally getting what they asked for but somehow Apple is still messing up.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      There’s nothing wrong with that design. It’s still great, and always will be great. It’s embarrassing that people think you have to redesign always because yesterday’s design is now old and thus garbage. You understand that there is a point where the physical design will not change right? That was rhetorical, I know you don’t understand.

  19. dksmidtx - 7 years ago

    Yawn…

  20. Alex (@ludacrane) - 7 years ago

    Hello.

    Let me loop you in. Group FaceTime calls.

  21. Reg Guy (@mactoid) - 7 years ago

    I was REALLY hoping for a refresh on the Mac Mini’s…I’ve been holding off buying one thinking a refresh was due anytime now!

  22. Michael Grieco - 7 years ago

    All A JOKE WITHOUT BETTER BATTERY LIFE….. PLEASE!!!!

  23. dgmfield - 7 years ago

    I’ll pass on this as the new MBP’s aren’t a priority at Apple.

  24. Ed Hansberry (@EdHans) - 7 years ago

    Well, I am this close —>||<—- to getting an Apple Watch and it looks like there is no reason to wait as I just want the plan black sports band.

  25. Look I know we all say crazy things Apple might do but I really think that this year we’ll see a SiriKit or something of that nature. They started with Handoff and Activity and then the “this” integration for Siri. It just seems that now they could one it up, but who knows I guess…

  26. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    Apple Pay has long been rumored to get stage time at this event. Maybe a major push for loyalty cards and store cards to get more retailers on board with Apple Pay.

  27. Bearcat - 7 years ago

    The lack of a new MacBook kind of hurts my feelings. I am growing tired of waiting… Come on Apple. Just release the new one so I can give you my money please.

  28. Adam (@Turbojacket) - 7 years ago

    Introducing iPad Paper! It’s a sheet of 9.7″ actual paper with an actual Pencil with ACTUAL GRAPHITE It feels so REAL! – From $499

  29. Lorenzo (@Lorenzo_e) - 7 years ago

    NOOOO… I want to see a new 12 inch Macbook!!! :(
    Why isn’t that simple… Begin 2015: release 12 inch Macbook and begin 2016: release 12 inch Macbook gen. 2.

  30. virtualstorm - 7 years ago

    I was hoping for new MacBooks. I wanted to buy a new one for my travels

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      Yes, I think Apple needs to refresh their Mac lineup, but that may require another event since they are probably going to refresh their entire line up with SkyLake versions. Same with desktop.

  31. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    I am wondering if Apple is going to announce watch bands with built-in sensors that sense other things that electronically connect through that connector that’s hidden inside the watch where the watch band connects.

  32. Peter Hillman - 7 years ago

    The author has no idea what he is talking about. The 4″ iPhone never became a thing of the past when the iPhone 6 came out. The iPhone 5S is still available today, always has been. The iPhone 6 and 6S is only 1/2″ wider than the iPhone 5/5S, so I am not sure why so many people complain they cannot hold it and use it with one hand. I have seen plenty of people using an iPhone 6 with one hand. But I guess it will be the new low cost iPhone to replace the iPhone 5S. Low cost to manufacture, updated A9 CPU, and lacking features from the 6 models. I am guessing this 4″ crowd is pretty small, considering the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus set new Apple records for over 4 million pre-orders in 24 hours, and more than 10M iPhones sold in the first three days of release. So people did want the larger screen iPhones. I look at my iPod Touch 6th Gen with the 4″ screen compared to my iPhone 6 Plus and realize the 4″ screen is too damn small. I have large fingers, so typing on the 3.5″ and 4″ screens was always a pain in the neck.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      I won’t bother commenting on the absurdities of your post other than Apple broke records with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and therefore people must have wanted the larger screens. Yes, plenty of people wanted larger screens, but that record was hardly record setting. The iPhone has broken it’s record every single year, and in fact, every single quarter it has been available. If the iPhone 6 was a 4″ device only, it still would have broken it’s record.

      • Chris Cooper (@clcooper) - 7 years ago

        “That record was hardly record setting?”..by definition isnt a record in fact, record setting?

  33. srgmac - 7 years ago

    Sigh…Was really hoping for an announcement for new macs. Not really interested in anything else unless they have some better partners with the watch bands…Why can’t they get like Prada or D&G / Dior / Gucci etc. on board with this? You would think all the haute couture / designers in the world would want to join with Apple so they could make authentic and beautiful watch bands for the best smartwatch in the world…But I guess since they all, themselves, make their own watches, they don’t want the competition?

  34. valanchan - 7 years ago

    I think the 9.7″ iPad has proven to be the wrong size. It is too big for a purely consumption only device, the Mini is much better, and too little for a production device. Look at the Macbook Air 11″ is too small for Keyboard/Mouse productivity, but I believe a 11″ iPad Pro be very useful.

  35. Jake Becker - 7 years ago

    Ok, I do have something on the wishlist. A 15″ Macbook spec’d to run some basic programs that exercise the RAM (eg dozens of GarageBand tracks, Photoshop), or MacBook Pros updated in the three or four colors. The former is preferred.

  36. modeyabsolom - 7 years ago

    This March 21 event is kind of like Tim Cook himself…low key, boring and un-exciting. The way Apple seems to be heading of late.

  37. Mark Hargrove - 7 years ago

    2016 Mac Pro???

  38. Michael Westcott - 7 years ago

    I really hope they introduce the new mac book pros and at least allow us to pre order them.

  39. David Pippy (@Dave_idP) - 7 years ago

    Further expansion of Apple Pay in Canada & Australia hopefully? Along with an announcement of other countries coming online?

  40. jedimindtrick99 - 7 years ago

    I like Apple events, gives me something to do that day, we all know the event we want to see is in September. If they could just bring back the ‘One more thing’ would be an epic ode to SJ

  41. rtdunham - 7 years ago

    I don’t understand why you talk about new watch models. A new band doesn’t make a new watch model: it is just a new band model.

  42. Mark K Simpson - 7 years ago

    Ram on the new SE? Matching the 6s would really make this a winner! I would pay a little more for it. Portability is key in phone size in my opinion. I returned my 6s and Lifeproof case because it felt ( and looked) like a tablet in my pocket.

  43. Amitai Palmon (@amitaip) - 7 years ago

    I would expect a tantalizing refresh in the iOS front, especially the boring applications’ grid home page, the weird pairing of widgets with notifications and calling them “today”

  44. jorn - 7 years ago

    “…& new Apple Watch models.”

    Huh?

  45. David Vall-Lloveras - 7 years ago

    I am finding the responses to the article more interesting than the actual article. iPad sales have dropped consistently for three years, possibly because they are a good product and if taken care of they last. Also there are so may other tablets on the market. However, even the discounts on the iPad Air and Air 2 have not turned things around in sales. Do they really think that upping the base price $100 and discontinuing the older models will translate in a sales boost? Really?

    • bb1111116 - 7 years ago

      I also see that as a problem. The choice for the buyer of an entry level 9.7 inch iPad will be the $599 Pro or the Air 2 which is 1 1/2 years old. (And I don’t think there will ever be a new Air model.) Apple is pushing customers to pay more money for iPad Pros. How will that stop the slide in iPad sales?

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        If the iPad Pro 9.7″ is $599 then they are charging $99 for the ‘Pro’ moniker, which is the worst thing they’ve done for grabbing money yet. It’s an absolute joke. The iPad gets the same basic feature upgrade like it usually does and suddenly they think they can charge $99 more for it? The even worse part is that this is the longest they’ve gone between upgrading it, and they’re still charging $99 more? Hilariously unacceptable.

      • Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

        So what if the ipad air 2 is 1 1/2 years old? Normal consumers aren’t paying attention to that. They go in and they just buy and ipad. The ipad air 2 still handles normal ipad tasks amazingly and the people who’d want it are likely coming from a pretty old ipad where that would be a major upgrade.

        I agree that there may never be another air model. The next ipad they do will probably be a redesigned ipad line that’s much thinner and lighter than the pro because it no longer needs to be focused on increasing performance or supporting pencil which requires faster refresh rates.

        Think about it like the current macbook line. Right now we have the air and the pro ipad. At some point there is going to be just a normal ipad again like now there is a normal macbook.

    • Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

      Who said they’d discontinue the ipad air 2? You can’t replace a non pro device with an addition to the pro line. The air 2 will remain on sale….

      Or at least we’ll find out tomorrow! woo apple event tomorrow! all these questions will be answered and we won’t have to argue about them…. Then we’ll just argue about whether apple made the right choices depending on if they aligned with our preconceived notions of rumors. : p

  46. valanchan - 7 years ago

    As with the iPhone battery case Apple should recognise that some people want ‘extra’ graphics capabilities, and release an external GPU.

    • crichton007 - 7 years ago

      I think that is more likely once all of their iOS devices support USB 3. I don’t think an external GPU would do much running over USB 2. (Remember when Microsoft allowed you to boost your RAM with USB drives which never caught on because it never really did much to boost performance?)

  47. crichton007 - 7 years ago

    We should have a poll to allow people to predict when iOS 9.3 will be released. It could be released Monday after the event (I have a hard time seeing Apple releasing it during the event). Given that the event begins later than usual (10am Pacific compared to 9am Pacific) which would mean a later software release than usual my money is on it being released on Tuesday. Then again Apple has also tended to release updates on Thursdays and Fridays in the past so those are options too.

    My bet is for Tuesday.

  48. motronic - 7 years ago

    iPhone Sensational Edition
    8}

  49. Ben Potter - 7 years ago

    ***insert snobby comment that assumes I know more about product design than apple***