Apple 21 March event: Everything to expect from launch of iPhone SE and iPad Air 3

Apple is expected to hold a media event on 21 March to reveal a new iPhone and new iPad

Apple is expected to hold its next media event on 21 March, where it should announce a new, cheaper iPhone and a replacement for the iPad Air 2. The event was originally tipped for 15 March, but it is now believed to be happening the following week.

The 21st is a Monday, and while Apple traditionally reveals new products on Tuesdays, the 22nd is already shaping up to be a busy day for Apple, as it goes head to head with the US government over itsrefusal to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. As for the Monday event, we will likely see two new products.

iPhone SE

First, there will be a new iPhone. Not the iPhone 7, but a handset with a smaller screen and a lower price than any phone Apple currently sells. The spiritual successor to the iPhone 5C, this model will likely be called the iPhone SE and it will feature a 4in screen, the same size as the iPhone 5 and 0.7in smaller than the iPhone 6S.

Rumours claim the new handset will look almost identical to the iPhone 5S from 2013, but will have its performance upgraded to include the company’s latest A9 and M9 processors − as used by the iPhone 6S − plus an NFC chip to work with Apple Pay. There will also be an always-on Siri, the same front and rear cameras as the iPhone 6, and colour options of gold, rose gold, silver and space grey.

The price of the iPhone SE will be a hugely important factor. Too high and it will be a tough sell against the larger and better-equipped iPhone 6S. But too cheap, and it would be in danger of damaging Apple’s premium brand. The phone will likely be seen as a rival to the equally pint-sized Sony Xperia Z5 Compact.

A smaller iPad Pro

Apple will also use the 21 March event to announce a new iPad. This tablet is expected to replace the iPad Air 2, which was released back in October 2014. The new model is believed to be dropping the Air name and will instead become a smaller version of the new iPad Pro.

It will keep the same 9.7in screen size as the Air 2 and include support for a new range of Smart Keyboards and the Apple Pencil stylus. Inside, it will be powered by the same A9X processor as the 12.9in iPad Pro and it will have the same four-speaker audio set-up. The launch of the new iPad Pro will see Apple slim down its tablet portfolio, as the original Air and older iPad minis will be taken off sale.

And finally…

Apple is expected to announce a new range of straps for the Watch, although it isn’t yet known what these will be like. A new version of the Watch itself is unlikely, as the general consensus is that Apple will update its wearable every two years. This means we shouldn’t be expecting Watch 2 until late 2016 or early 2017.


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