iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 May Launch At Apple March Event

Apple might unveil new products, including the iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se, and new strap options for the Apple Watch, in March.
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Apple is preparing a few new products that could debut within several weeks. The company is widely believed to have the iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se, and Apple Watch ready for a mid-March reveal.

Apple has pegged March 15 as the date for a media event, though no invitations have been distributed. 9to5mac has long suggested the week of March 14 as the time the new gear will arrive, and the blog now says Tuesday, March 15 is the most probable date. Apple hasn't announced any plans yet. It's not clear if the company will hold the event in San Francisco or in its Cupertino headquarters, although the latter is more likely.

The iPad Air 3 is one of the products on deck. Apple has not updated its mid-sized tablet since the iPad Air 2 launched in October 2014. The refreshed tablet will take on some characteristics of the larger iPad Pro, which went on sale in November. New features may include enhanced, stereo speakers, and the Smart Connector.

The iPad has had but a single speaker since its 2010 debut, which degrades the experience of watching movies and other video content. The iPad Pro has four speakers that can shift dynamically as the tablet is moved around. Stereo speakers would be a welcome improvement to the iPad Air.

The Smart Connector, which is fitted into the side of the iPad Pro, allows the tablet to connect to accessories such as keyboards. The Apple Smart Keyboard, for example, attaches to the magnetic Smart Connector, which negates the need for Bluetooth pairing. It also sends power to the keyboard so there's no need to worry about charging the keyboard's battery.

Other potential features include 3D Touch, compatibility with the Apple Pencil (stylus), and an LED flash for the camera.

The iPhone 5se may be on the roster for the March event, too. This device is believed to be a refresh of the iPhone 5s. It will have an updated hardware design, a 4-inch screen with curved glass, an A9/M9 processor combo, and improved cameras. The device will be less expensive than the $649 iPhone 6s, and might carry a price point closer to $450. The phone will serve as Apple's entry-level handset.

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Apple will also likely use the March 15 event to introduce new strap options for the Apple Watch. (The Apple Watch 2 is not expected to arrive until September.) 9to5mac's sources say they believe there will be new colors for the Apple Watch Sport strap, Hermes strap, and Milanese Loop. The Watch will also receive a software boost. Apple has been testing a new version of watchOS since last week.

As always, Apple has remained mum about the event and the potential products it will unveil.

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