The iPhone SE, iPad Pro Mini, FBI, iOS 9.3 & March 21; Here’s Everything To Expect From Apple
As Apple's event for March 21st gets confirmed, industry speculation on what to expect from the company in less than two weeks from now is all time high. We've been hearing quite a bit of rumors and speculation concerning the launch of the iPhone SE and the iPad 7, with the latter being a smaller iPad Pro. The company's 'Spring Forward' event last year was a relatively quiet affair, which was expected given that the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus were well received throughout.
So as invites for the event are out, its time to take a look at what to expect from the company at this event. We've got several contenders lined up already as indicated above, and they've been a regular feature of the rumor mill for the better part of the past two months. So take a look below to find out more.
The iPhone SE
The iPhone SE is one Apple device that has managed to stay a stubborn part of the rumor mill for more than a year. Even as Apple launched the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, with the latter doing quite well for Cupertino's first large screen device, pretty soon we heard several quarters of the company's long time users share their reservations.
We saw the first alleged images of the device leak almost exactly a year back, courtesy of folks over at FutureSupplier. Even back then, the device's rear casings looked a lot like the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5s, with the smaller, 4 inch frame. Comparing these with some renders which have surfaced today, we see that not much has changed.
Apple seems to have taken a rather lazy approach towards the device's design and the only heavy hitting points of the iPhone SE that you should be expected about are its performance and camera specifications. According to current information, the iPhone SE will be coming with the Apple A9, 2 GB of RAM and a 12MP rear camera; specifications that put the device right in the flagship category.
Given that the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus didn't do as well as Apple, or its Wall Street compatriots would have liked, a successful smaller screened iPhone launch would definitely make 2016 a good year for the company. We've seen information about the device increase in pace this month which has also been reflected in Apple's share price which wasn't doing that well previously.
Its also expected that the new iPhone SE will be aimed towards Eastern markets, particularly China, since smartphone purchases in the US have been slowing down over the past couple of years. How well the device does depends on its launch so be sure to stay tuned.
Another hardware item that's rumored to be on the company's agenda for March 21st is a new iPad. Its been a while since Apple launched the iPad Air 2, and in September we saw the company launch the much larger iPad Pro in order to effectively cater towards the enterprise segment. But this left multimedia and light users of the tablet in the dark as subsequently we saw little information surface about a potential iPad Air 3.
Seems like simplification's the mantra for the iPad lineup this March, as we're likely to see a smaller iPad Pro launched in Cupertino. The launch of the iPad Air 2 came at a very crucial time for the tablet industry in general. Sales and overall interest in large screen slates was declining, with more and more users choosing the convenience offered by phablets instead; something which became even more evident with the popularity of Samsung's Galaxy Note lineup.
Now that things have seemed to settled down again, courtesy of a couple of more excellent offerings in the form of Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 lineup, looks like Apple will be simplifying its tablet lineup. Things did get cluttered on the iPad, with a lot of different screen size variations coupled with similar differentiated focus on specifications being the primary focus for quite a while.
The 9.7 inch iPad Pro which is expected on the 21st is expected to bring the features of its larger cousin on a much smaller screen, with similar specifications expected. We'd bet that the A9X will definitely make an appearance on the iPad, as several other features such as Smart Keyboard, the Apple pencil and more have been mentioned by some reliable sources as of now.
We've also been hearing about camera specifications which lie in the ballpark of the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, so it'd definitely be interesting to see Apple's approach this time around. Spring's a bit early for big announcements given the company's recent history, but if it manages to combine enterprise and multimedia features on the smaller iPad, then it sure will be able to buy some time before another launch is required.
Another tussle which Apple's found itself in these past couple of weeks is the company's legal tussle with the FBI. In a bid to get Cupertino to unlock an iPhone 5c, to gain access to information considered important for national security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been using court pressure quite a lot. Apple, and the rest of silicon valley in general refuse to comply, claiming that doing so would not only set dangerous precedents, but also expose users to significant privacy risks in the future.
While who's right and who's wrong depends on your perspective, the very fact that Apple is able to stand its ground against court orders goes to show how far the company, and Silicon valley in general has managed to evolve. This, boosted by claims made today by Edward Snowden leave the general populace somewhat sympathetic to Cupertino's claims; especially given the current public mindset about mass surveillance.
Why do we mention the FBI over here? Because its exactly one day before the company's court hearing in its legal tussle. Its an interesting date for the company to choose and suggests that Apple's in no way eager to keep its legal battles low key; or at least this one. Should the company manage to pull off successful launches on the 21st, we'd expect it to ride the fresh wave of investor confidence all the way to the courts as well.
We're also expecting other details from the company this March, which include a potential release date for iOS 9.3, upgrades to the MacBook lineup if we're lucky and some new information/features and bands for the Apple Watch, though don't go expecting an Apple Watch 2 just yet. With all of this, March seems to be all set and done when it comes to the gadget world. More information should pop up over the next week or so as well.
So stay tuned, let us know what you think in the comments section below.We'll keep you updated on the latest.
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