iPhone, Watch, iPad Updates Now Expected March 21 - InformationWeek
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2/29/2016
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iPhone, Watch, iPad Updates Now Expected March 21

Apple's event is now expected for March 21. Reports say the event, which was originally expected for March 15, includes updates to the Apple Watch, the iPhone, and the iPad.

iPhone 7 Rumors: 7 That Have People Talking
iPhone 7 Rumors: 7 That Have People Talking
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Scratch March 15, as the anticipated date of Apple's next fête. It's now being reported that Apple has chosen March 21 -- the day before the iPhone maker is due in court to begin arguing its case against a Justice Dept. court order -- as the date to show off a number of updated devices. On Tuesday, March 1, Apple's general counsel testifies before the House Judiciary Committee.

BuzzFeed News first reported the calendar update on Feb. 27, citing "sources in position to know."

While Apple reigns supreme when it comes to keeping a secret, below is what the rumor mill is expecting to see.

iPhone SE

No, that's not the iPhone 5S you're seeing around the Internet lately. It's a mock-up of what reports say Apple will call the iPhone SE -- a 4-inch iPhone that's an update on the 5S, whether for developing markets or for sticklers for a 4-inch form factor.

MacRumors expects the iPhone SE to feature:

  • A new display, with slightly curved glass.
  • An A9 chip like the iPhone 6S runs. Apple has called this third-generation chip the most advanced ever in a smartphone. It's capable of gaming console-class performance, and features a built-in motion coprocessor that helps to inform fitness apps and Apple Health features.
  • TouchID, the security solution Apple continues to improve on, and has been tied to Apple Pay.
  • An 8-megapixel rear camera, like the iPhone 5S has.
  • Support for Live Photos, but no 3D Touch -- technology that builds on Multi-Touch, enabling the iPhone to sense how much pressure a user is applying to the display. Leaving this out would improve the device's battery life and keep Apple's costs lower.
  • A metal casing much like the one the 5S has.

[Read Apple Claims FBI iPhone Cracking Demands Are Unconstitutional.]

Apple Watch

It's expected that Apple is preparing a software update for Apple Watch, as well as new bands -- in new materials and from new high-end-brand partners.

(Image: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto)

(Image: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto)

The fourth beta of WatchOS 2.2 will work with iOS 9.3 and add a handful of new features. The most dramatic of these, reports Cult of Mac, is an updated Maps application, which can help users to search what's nearby (restaurants, cafes, etc.) and offer navigation to or from their home or workplace.

Version 2.2 will also fix some bugs in the settings. If wearing two Apple Watches at once is your style, OS 2.2 will support that by linking multiple watches to a single iPhone.

9.7-Inch iPad Pro

Finally, as reported here earlier, Apple is also expected to retire the iPad mini 2 and the original Air and introduce a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, making its newest tablet more business-friendly, with a Smart Keyboard-slash-cover and an Apple Pencil.

Tim Cook as the New Voice for Privacy

It's likely that the event will receive interest well beyond its usual audiences, as Apple's controversy with the FBI has placed new attention on the brand and moved CEO Tim Cook into a heightened role as a privacy advocate.

Harmit Kambo, director of campaigns and development at Privacy International, described Cook as "playing an extremely valuable role in this massively important debate," according to a Feb. 29 report from Bloomberg, which went on to describe Cook's stand against the Justice Dept. as "extending" and "legitimizing" Edward Snowden's legacy.

[Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the date of the House Judiciary Committee testimony.]

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Michelle Maisto is a writer, a reader, a plotter, a cook, and a thinker whose career has revolved around food and technology. She has been, among other things, the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise Magazine, a reporter on consumer mobile products and wireless networks for ... View Full Bio

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impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 9:25:52 PM
Compelling enhancements

Enhancements to the iphone are a necessity to justify the price tag, I know more and more people that are buying a 1 year old droid rather than a new iPhone the cost is just out the realm for many and the carriers are no longer subsidizing phone purchases. These new enhancements really need to be compelling enough to drive upgrades and switches.

mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 3:16:12 PM
Re: Not surprised
@jnskm,

Thank you for sharing your experience.

I'm very intrigued to see how Apple decides to roll this out. I do agree that the portability of the Ipad Mini is one of it's biggest selling points (and why many folks are happy with it). But sadly when you have to answer to stakeholders, they want more sales, more sales, more sales.

Also, and you've pointed out, you've only had two tablets, not a new one every year. This is the sentiment accross the board that consumers aren't purchasing a tablet every 6 month, or aren't more willing to upgrade their tablets they way the upgrade phones (my personal opinion is that for smarphone you can trade in and get credit/cash, but for tablets you have to go through the re-sale process, which not everyone is willing to do)
jnskm
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jnskm,
User Rank: Moderator
2/29/2016 | 3:06:03 PM
Re: Not surprised
I've owned two iPads in the last severl years: an iPad 3 (first retina iPad), and the retina iPad mini. Although the large iPad was really nice to read on the more practical one for me was the iPad mini. It was small enough to be portable and large enough to offer enough benefits over the iPhone to take it along.

I hope Apple doesn't completely abandon the iPad mini because I think the iPad mini is the iPad for regular folks. The iPad Pro (the really big one) is too big for most, but great for artists and designers who would rather do work on a single iPad Pro and not on a MacBook plus paper and pencil. A smaller iPad Pro is interesting, but I think Apple is adding the Pro suffix only because it is Apple Pencil compatible. I might be wrong here though. :-)
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 2:51:51 PM
Not surprised
Great article Michelle,

I can't say that I'm surprised for Apple dropping Ipad Air and Mini and focusing more on the business user. The tablet market has matured (not saturaded like most folks say) and user preference is more refined.

Many folks like low end tablets with a good display since it suffices for what they want to do (reason why I think Amazon hit the sweet spot on this one). Others that want more horsepower are looking more for a hybrid, since they want a full keyboard but still have the convenience of a touch screen and tablet experience.

So I think them focusing their efforts is a strategic move.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 2:48:58 PM
Re: Apple Watch Line
@jnskm,

My wife very recently got an Apple Watch. For her case it's done wonders. Since at her work she has to put her phone in a locker (secure site), she can still communicat using her Apple Watch using a set of predefined text. So we can easilly communicate with just a couple of taps on her end.

There are many features that she liks (fitness tracking, custom screen and notifications). I was surprised that the audio and mic on the apple watch are really good, specially when walking in a parking lot with traffic noise.

It's still not for me, but it definitly has it's audience
jnskm
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jnskm,
User Rank: Moderator
2/29/2016 | 2:05:51 PM
Apple Watch Line
I'd love to see a 'line' of Apple Watch products. Two products that I would like: round Apple Watches and Apple Watches that are more like bracelets that track our activity.

The round Apple Watches would be more about style and less complex than the regular rectangular Apple Watch. You get some notifications.

The Apple Watch bracelet would have all the sensors you get in the original Apple Watch, but without the big display. This would be for folks who are active and need a more rugged tool to track their activities. Shockproof, waterproof, etc.

I'm sure Apple will generate some ooohs and aaahs with its software update for the Apple Watch, but I doubt it will lead to a big jump in sales.

I'd like to get myself an Apple Watch, but I'll wait and see what Apple does with the next Apple Watch that should be coming next year.
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