It is not necessarily so much about what happened this week in tech, but what is going to happen next Monday at Apple’s Spring Event. This week we have a roundup of what to expect from Monday’s keynote.
PSA: We will be live-tweeting the event from the @moshi_us handle. Be sure to tune in at 10 a.m. PST and check out the full recap on our blog shortly after the keynote finishes.
The rumors have been swirling since 9to5Mac reported in January that Apple will be launching a new 4-inch iPhone in March. Now that we are just a few days away, it seems much more is actually known about this device. But, always remember: nothing is confirmed until its debut at the keynote.
So what do we (think we) know? Reputable sources, such as 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman (who is usually right), believe that the name of the device will be iPhone SE. The iPhone SE design is nearly identical to the iPhone 5s, with matte edges instead of the curved 6/6s version, and it will include a 12 megapixel camera that is capable of 4K video. The iPhone SE’s rear camera will be be the same as the iPhone 6s, and it will have the ability to take Live Photos.
The phone will come in the same color offerings as iPhone 6s, including the new popular Rose Gold. The hardware of the iPhone SE will include an A9 processor, an M9 chip for the always-on “Hey Siri” function, an NFC chip for Apple Pay, and cellular & WiFi upgrades. The memory configuration options for the iPhone SE will be 16 GB and 64 GB.
Essentially, the iPhone SE is an significantly upgraded iPhone 5s with much of the iPhone 6s internal hardware. So, for those holding onto your iPhone 5s for want of a smaller screen, Apple has heard your prayers. Come Monday, March 21, it might be a great time to upgrade.
The iPhone SE is reportedly expected to launch a week after the keynote with an anticiapted starting price of $450.
9.7 inch iPad Pro
In addition to a notable iPhone announcement, TechCrunch among other sources reports the iPad product line is getting a significant update as well. Apple’s successor to its iPad Air 2 is reportedly not quite an iPad Air 3, but more like a 9.7 inch iPad Pro.
The new 9.7 inch iPad Pro will be much faster than its iPad Air 2 predecessor, featuring an A9X chip, more RAM and support for Apple Pencil as well as its very own Smart Keyboard. The new device is expected to be slightly thicker than the iPad Air 2 and will also include quad-speakers around the sides of the tablet like the iPad Pro. The iPad display technology looks to be updated as well to allow for a brighter screen. Apparently this new technology also comes with updated pixel technology that is required for the Apple Pencil.
The starting price for the new smaller iPad Pro is expected at $599 for 32 GB of storage with an option to upgrade to a 128 GB version. The color options are expected to match those available for the iPad Pro – space gray, silver and gold. The 9.7 inch iPad Pro is also expected to launch a week after the keynote.
Wildcards & Surprises
Although the iPhone SE and the 9.7 inch iPad Pro seem to be the main event, 9to5Mac did quite an extensive wrap up indicating practically everything that can be expected from Apple on March 21.
The reveal of the Apple Watch 2 is expected for this fall, but the Apple Watch bands will receive a refresh with Apple Watch Sports Bands, a Black Milanese Loop, NATO-Style Nylon bands, as well as new Hermés bands and additional brand partnerships.
iOS 9.3 will supposedly be updated with several new features, including the Night Shift function to automatically adjust the color temperature of your display to reduce eye strain. You can also expect WiFi calling on Verizon, Touch ID notes, and more CarPlay features.
There is a lot of substantive speculation, but come Monday, we will finally know what Apple has up its sleeves. What are you most excited for? Are you glad Apple is going smaller with the iPhone SE? Do you love their devotion to the new iPad Pro product line? Let us know in the comments.