Apple’s long awaited and heavily rumoured March event is now a reality, with the Cupertino based company sending invites out to press & tech evangelists alike to their ‘Loop You In’ event on March 21st (today).
There’s not a lot we don’t know about this event — with a steady flow of rumours cited from well-known leakers in the community revealing every last drop of information that will be presented by Apple later on today.
You usually get an idea as to what the theme will be for the press event in the slogan Apple uses in the invites for the event; in this case ‘Loop You In’. From an outside looking in perspective, you would assume that ‘Loop You In’ pertains to a watch band of some sort, or in usual Apple fashion, it could have a double-meaning. The meaning of the slogan isn’t entirely clear, but if you take a step back and take the wording literally – it could mean something simple as Apple ‘keeping us in the loop’, but again, Apple are usually full of surprises leading up to any press event.
What can we expect from today’s event? Let’s find out.
Honey, I Shrunk My iPhone
Rumours of a smaller iPhone have been circulating for months before even a sniff of an Apple event came to fruition. Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac fame reported in January that Apple are going to announce a smaller, up to date iPhone at a press event in March. The thought process behind releasing a smaller iPhone, effectively going back to the same design as the iPhone 5, is definitely a ballsy move from the tech giant, but not an unwarranted one. There’s still a market for smaller devices in the ever-growing industry of devices with 4-inch and above displays — my guess would be that Apple did their market research and found that a lot of consumers haven’t moved from their iPhone 5, or 5s, because the size is something they are accustomed to.
This could also be Apple providing options for every corner of the market. They currently have a device for the ‘phablet’ corner of the market with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus, as well as a ‘standard’ option with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6/S. The remaining, albeit still active ‘smaller’ device market was left in the dark. The issues with smaller devices nowadays is the fact that they come with a plethora of compromises that the consumer wouldn’t entertain looking at.
The iPhone 5se is reported to have ‘up-to-date’ specifications, matching the iPhone 6, and in some cases the ’s’ iteration of the device. Below is a list of reported specifications for the iPhone 5se:
- 4-inch Display
- Apple A9 Processor (Same as in the iPhone 6s/Plus)
- 16, 32, 64GB Storage Options
- 1642mAh battery capacity
- TouchID Support
- Apple Pay Support (Which, in turn, means NFC)
- 8MP rear-facing camera
- 1.2MP front-facing camera
- 3D Touch not supported
One thing that is currently uncertain about the iPhone 5se (now reportedly named iPhone SE), is the hardware design. Initial rumours and press renders showed the device to be an exact replica of Apple’s popular iPhone 5 design – but later rumours close to the event date have surfaced to prove that the design will have a more curved ergonomic feel to the device, much like the iPhone 6/s line of devices.
Mobile Fun, the smartphone vendor got their hands on a reported iPhone SE case and posted the below video comparing the differences between the SE, and the iPhone 5.
If the video below is to be believed, the iPhone SE will take a more ‘back to basics’ look and design with the iPhone 5.
There’s plenty of other rumours and speculation out there about the hardware design, but we’ll soon see at 5PM GMT what Apple have in store.
iPad Pro Mini?
Apple have been very quiet on the tablet front recently, with only the iPad Pro being the latest release from the tech giant in recent memory. The iPad Pro, is again, Apple tapping into a larger (quite literally) market for artists and teachers mainly. One thing that a lot of people in the technology stratosphere have been worried about is Apple’s tentativeness to announce a new iPad Air, or even an iPad Mini. This isn’t to say that the iPad Air products have been left behind and are starting to show their age, but it does give off the impression that Apple have bigger plans for these lines of devices that may come to fruition at todays event.
Initial rumours of a new iPad were reported by 9to5Mac, stating that Apple are ready to revitalise the Air brand with a newer, more powerful device. It wasn’t up until recently that the new ‘Air’ device wouldn’t be under the ‘Air’ brand at all. It would actually be named as a ‘Pro’ device.
Naming conventions are one of Apple’s strong suits, keeping it concise and simple to follow. With the new change in name for the ‘Air’ line, it could lead to confusion. Is the pro line now touted as the more premium line of tablets? Will there be an ‘Air’ device? Has the ‘Air’ brand been consolidated into ‘Pro’? Those are a few questions that first popped into my head when the rumours came flooding in. Unfortunately, we won’t know more about this until the event later today.
In terms of specifications, the iPad Pro Mini will feature all of what made the iPad Pro so great in the first place. The quad-speaker setup, Apple Pencil support, an immersive retina display to name a few. The iPad Pro Mini’s design will take inspiration from the Air line, as well as its big brother the iPad Pro, with an ultra-slim casing, along with a smooth contoured aluminium body. Rumoured specifications below:
- 9.7-inch display – 4K display rumoured
- Apple A9x processor
- 12MP rear-facing camera with flash
- iPad Pro Branding
More Apple Watch Bands
Apple Watch rumours were also at the forefront of speculation, with the smartwatch approaching 12 months of its official release – although it seems that Apple are due to announce new accessories for the first generation Apple Watch at today’s event.
My guess is that a plethora of new watch band variations will be announced today, with a few designers having their input to add some extra to style to this line of device configurations.
Steve Wozniak has openly admitted that he’s unsure on the Apple Watch, stating that “The only difference is the band in all those watches. Twenty watches from $500 to $1,100. The band’s the only difference? Well this isn’t the company that Apple was originally, or the company that really changed the world a lot.”
How to Watch the event
Live-stream: Apple will be live streaming the event on Apple-only devices, which include Apple TV, iOS 7 and above devices and Safari.
Live Blog: Greg and partly myself will be live blogging the event, and details for that will be posted on the site momentarily.
Time: San Francisco: 10:00AM / New York: 1:00PM / London: 5:00PM / Berlin 6:00PM / Moscow: 8:00PM / Beijing: 1:00AM (March 22nd) / Tokyo: 2:00AM (March 22nd) / Sydney 4:00AM (March 22nd).
We’ll cover all the news as soon as the event finishes.