What to expect from Apple's 'let us loop you in' event today

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2016
Today, Apple will hold a media presentation at its corporate headquarters to unveil its latest new products. Spoiler alert: You can expect a new 4-inch iPhone and 9.7-inch iPad.




Bank on it: New 4-inch iPhone



The main product unveiling expected at Apple's March 21 event is a new 4-inch iPhone that will replace the current iPhone 5s. It's believed that the handset will boast many of the same internal components as the iPhone 6s, including a 12-megapixel camera, A9 processor, and support for Apple Pay.

If the iPhone 5s is discontinued, Apple's entire iPhone product lineup would then feature Apple Pay for the first time ever.


Source: OnLeaks via Twitter


Leaked schematics suggest the new iPhone model will feature an aesthetic similar to the current iPhone 6s series, such as curved edges and a slightly protruding camera, but smaller in size. The rumored name of the product is "iPhone SE."

With the iPhone 5s currently priced at $449 off contract, expect that Apple's new 4-inch model will launch in largely the same price range. It's likely to launch just a matter of days after the keynote.

Highly likely: New 9.7-inch iPad



Whether it's branded as an iPad Air or iPad Pro, Apple is also expected to introduce a new 9.7-inch iPad that will serve as the successor to the iPad Air 2, which first launched in 2014.

The new model is expected to feature many of the same capabilities of the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including the Smart Connector magnetic port for keyboard accessories, as well as a four-speaker array and possibly the beefed-up A9X processor.




With Smart Connector support, expect Apple to introduce a new Smart Keyboard accessory sized for the smaller iPad. It's also possible that other third-party Smart Connector accessories could be announced.

Finally, Apple is also rumored to adjust its pricing strategy with the new iPad, axing the entry-level 16-gigabyte model and starting with a 32-gigabyte capacity for $599. A high-end 128-gigabyte model is also expected.

Also expected: New Apple Watch bands



It's likely that Apple will expand the Apple Watch lineup with new bands styles and colors with its March 21 event. One of those bands -- a space black Milanese Loop --?was outed on Apple's website in January.




If you're hoping for a new second-generation Apple Watch, don't hold your breath -- Apple is expected to launch a newer version of its wearable this September.

Ask again later: New Macs



Apple has new Macs in the pipeline and many of its products are overdue for an upgrade. But it's unknown whether Apple will use the March 21 event to unveil new Macs, or if it will instead release them separately.




Specifically, Apple's MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook lineups are both due for upgrades to Intel's latest-generation processors. New Macs are likely to make the leap to Intel's "Skylake" platform, which boosts CPU speeds by up to 20 percent, and also increases power efficiency with a new 14-nanometer architecture.

New MacBooks running Skylake processors could see battery life increase by as much as 30 percent.

Wildcards and surprises



While Apple is famous for keeping its cards close to the vest, the company's ability to surprise at keynotes has waned in recent years. In the weeks and months leading up to the event, the rumor mill largely solidifies what will be revealed, especially with respect to new hardware.

With that said, there are still ways Apple could pull a rabbit out of a hat next Monday, particularly with some of its more niche products.

Thunderbolt display


In particular, the company's Thunderbolt Display is severely outdated when compared to the high-resolution Retina display on its 27-inch iMac. Recently, Thunderbolt Display shipments were delayed in Europe sparking hopes that a refresh could be in the works, though there has been no concrete evidence to support that speculation.

There are other products that Apple could also upgrade, such as bringing 802.11ac Wi-Fi support to the AirPort Express, but those would be unlikely to warrant stage time at an Apple keynote.

When and how to watch



AppleInsider will offer full, live coverage of the "Let us loop you in" event. For those who can watch, Apple will be streaming it live on its website and via Apple TV.

The keynote will kick off Monday, March 21 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. It will be held at Apple's headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, Calif.

What's next?



Apple famously doesn't talk about what it's planning for the future, but the company has stuck to a predictable pattern in recent years, giving us a good idea what to expect for the rest of 2016.

The company will probably hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in June, where it will unveil both iOS 10 and OS X 10.12. WWDC has also been a popular time for Apple to announce new Mac hardware, with its development community in mind.

Apple's biggest season will likely kick off in September, when it's expected to hold an event to unveil its next-generation "iPhone 7." The device is expected to feature an all-new design that could controversially ditch the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack.

As noted, the September event is also expected to feature second-generation Apple Watch hardware. It's also likely that the iPad Pro will receive an annual update this fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    I truly hope -- and expect -- it's a bit more than a 4-inch phone and revamped iPad. Somehow, those two alone do not, to me, seem to be keynote-worthy. 
    pulseimages6Sgoldfish
  • Reply 2 of 83
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,428member
    I haven't really been following too many of the rumors lately, but I hope to see something announced or introduced that is totally unexpected.

    I want to be surprised and wowed, is that asking too much? 

    I also hope that there's no musical guest at the end. Screw the music. I'm interested in Apple and their products. If people want to watch and hear music, then go to damn youtube and watch a video. 

    My excitement level prior to this Apple event is about a 2 out of 10. 

    Nevertheless, I will be tuning in tomorrow, and eagerly watching the keynote, like I always do. :#

    neilbilly6Sgoldfishgtr
  • Reply 3 of 83
    cashxxcashxx Posts: 102member
    Come on 17" Macbook Pro!!
    roger wade
  • Reply 4 of 83
    Come on 15" Macbook Pro refresh. Daddy needs a new laptop and tired of waiting. 

    As for the new Thunderbolt display, don't bet on it. I read on 9to5Mac that it will most likely be held over another year until Intel released new chips that support 5K video over a single Thunderbolt/USB-C port, which Skylake does not. 
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 5 of 83
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,231member

    "Specifically, Apple's MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook lineups are both due for upgrades to Apples latest-generation A10 processors. New Macs are likely to make the leap to Apples A10 too, which boosts CPU speeds by up to 20 percent, and also increases power efficiency with a huge factor of 5, making possible 35 hours of battery life and a drop in price of $300 or more ..."

    There, fixed that for you.
  • Reply 6 of 83
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,231member
    Perfect, I'll buy one, or maybe two.
  • Reply 7 of 83

    Mmm ...

    My 17yo grandson has a Mac, iPad 2, iPhone 6S and a PS4.  But he wanted a laptop to do his homework (Straight A student) and college courses.  Friends convinced him he needed a PC rather than a Mac (he could do some gaming too).

    He wanted to withdraw money from his savings to do the evil deed.  After several days of nagging, his Mom drove him 30 miles to the nearest Fry's and he got an Asus Laptop after several hours of comparison shopping.

    After four days of usage, he decided he wanted a Mac laptop, instead.

    His Mom round-tripped to Fry's to return the beast!

    I mentioned to him the upcoming Apple Announcement, and suggested that he wait --  as there might be new MacBooks (longshot) or a 9.7" iPad Pro (likely).  He agreed!

    While he was at school, I setup my 12" iPad Pro on the kitchen table -- so he would see it when he got home.  He saw it, but was not much interested -- he wanted a laptop!

    I convinced him to try it, but he didn't like the Apple Keyboard -- too squishy.   Originally, I purchased a Logitech case/keyboard (heavy/bulky) because the Apple kb was back-ordered.

    He liked that!

    I told him he could borrow it, run it through its paces to see if it would do the job for him ...

    So far, so good!


    Long story, longer ...  I suspect that  a 9.7" iPad Pro, with A9X power, an Apple Pen, a good kb will deliver on the promise of the iPad 1 -- capable of satisfying the computer needs of the majority of users..
    pscooter63roundaboutnow
  • Reply 8 of 83
    Dudes!  Why not get rid of the audio jack right now?  Why wait until September?  OwwWoooooooo!  Oops, that was howling at the moon, much more wolf like.


    Maybe Intel would like to be the foundry for the A10?


  • Reply 9 of 83
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    apple ][ said:

    I want to be surprised and wowed, is that asking too much? 
    Perhaps. New Apple products lately have been more iterative than revolutionary. Don't anybody get mad at me for saying that. From a total user experience, they're still head and shoulders above anything else out there, and we're seeing further improvements on an impressive foundation.
  • Reply 10 of 83
    AI2xxxAI2xxx Posts: 38member

    Mmm ...

    My 17yo grandson has a Mac, iPad 2, iPhone 6S and a PS4.  But he wanted a laptop to do his homework (Straight A student) and college courses.  Friends convinced him he needed a PC rather than a Mac (he could do some gaming too).

    He wanted to withdraw money from his savings to do the evil deed.  After several days of nagging, his Mom drove him 30 miles to the nearest Fry's and he got an Asus Laptop after several hours of comparison shopping.

    After four days of usage, he decided he wanted a Mac laptop, instead.

    His Mom round-tripped to Fry's to return the beast!

    I mentioned to him the upcoming Apple Announcement, and suggested that he wait --  as there might be new MacBooks (longshot) or a 9.7" iPad Pro (likely).  He agreed!

    While he was at school, I setup my 12" iPad Pro on the kitchen table -- so he would see it when he got home.  He saw it, but was not much interested -- he wanted a laptop!

    I convinced him to try it, but he didn't like the Apple Keyboard -- too squishy.   Originally, I purchased a Logitech case/keyboard (heavy/bulky) because the Apple kb was back-ordered.

    He liked that!

    I told him he could borrow it, run it through its paces to see if it would do the job for him ...

    So far, so good!


    Long story, longer ...  I suspect that  a 9.7" iPad Pro, with A9X power, an Apple Pen, a good kb will deliver on the promise of the iPad 1 -- capable of satisfying the computer needs of the majority of users..
    I'd be hesitant on the iPad Pro for school. This is where the Surface Pro 4 has it's appeal, it's still running Windows, so it will run any required software (or games) a student will need. That being said, a lower cost 9.7" iPad Pro might be a decent device for note taking to compliment a laptop. Although, the Surface 4 should be announced in the coming months, and unless you're in an art program, the Surface Pen is much better for note taking or general productivity.

    An updated MacBook Pro 15" would be nice to see, something like the XPS 15, so Skylake-H, DDR4, GTX 960 (or better/equivalent) and Thunderbolt 3.  

    Never was a fan of the 12" Macbook, but I'm sure some users here might be interested in an updated model. Skylake Core m and a couple of Thunderbolt 3 ports might be a nice improvement. A better keyboard is also a must, the current one is terrible.
    pulseimages
  • Reply 11 of 83
    knowitall said:

    "Specifically, Apple's MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook lineups are both due for upgrades to Apples latest-generation A10 processors. New Macs are likely to make the leap to Apples A10 too, which boosts CPU speeds by up to 20 percent, and also increases power efficiency with a huge factor of 5, making possible 35 hours of battery life and a drop in price of $300 or more ..."

    There, fixed that for you.
    Lol no. Cute, but no. There is zero evidence of OSX builds running on anything other than an Intel platform in the wild, and you're not going to see one until the A series is powerful enough to not only run desktop-level apps specifically coded for it, but legacy x86 apps running in a VM environment like Apple had to do after switching from PowerPC to Intel chips via Rosetta. Sorry, but we are nowhere close to that day, Knowitall, and Apple isn't going to risk their hard-earned market share gains by making every piece of software installed on current systems incompatible at launch just to apease the anti-Intel bunch.

    Kind of surprised you didn't already "know" that...
    edited March 2016 AI2xxxrealjustinlongBlasteruraharatallest skil
  • Reply 12 of 83
    toddzrxtoddzrx Posts: 194member
    I think all of Apple's computer lines, both desktop and laptop, are begging for significant changes.  Given the advent of USB-C, TB3, and Skylake, it would be nice to see redesigns of the Macbook Pro, iMac, and at least updates to everything else.
    AI2xxxcash907censoredlmagooneilbilly6Sgoldfish
  • Reply 13 of 83
    toddzrx said:
    I think all of Apple's computer lines, both desktop and laptop, are begging for significant changes.  Given the advent of USB-C, TB3, and Skylake, it would be nice to see redesigns of the Macbook Pro, iMac, and at least updates to everything else.
    There's not much they can do on the MBP line aside from thin it down some more, which may happen but hopefully not at the expense of keyboard impact depth. I'm sure a port redesign will be part of upgrade with at least one USB-C port, possibly two. iMac's are fine in their current form with not much more to shave there without sacrificing CPU power due to reduced cooling capacity. Maybe they could take the new keyboards and make them less ugly while adding a backlight while they're at it. Did we gain anything from that "upgrade" besides a built in battery no one really asked for and an aesthetically weird looking footprint? That's what happens when engineers change something just for the sake of change, so I say don't fix what isn't broke. Add some USB-C ports, a CPU/GPU spec bump and call it good.
    baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 83
    AI2xxxAI2xxx Posts: 38member
    toddzrx said:
    I think all of Apple's computer lines, both desktop and laptop, are begging for significant changes.  Given the advent of USB-C, TB3, and Skylake, it would be nice to see redesigns of the Macbook Pro, iMac, and at least updates to everything else.
    Thunderbolt 3 would be great as it would allow for external graphics solutions for devices like the Macbook.

    For example, here's a video showing Acer's Thunderbolt 3 graphics dock, with a GTX 940M, boosting the performance of a Core m5 powered Acer tablet:


    cash907censoredroger wade
  • Reply 15 of 83
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    apple ][ said:
    I haven't really been following too many of the rumors lately, but I hope to see something announced or introduced that is totally unexpected.

    I want to be surprised and wowed, is that asking too much? 

    simple: if you want to be surprised, dont spend your days on rumor sites dedicated to outing any possible surprises. (this complete always makes me shake my head...)
    baconstangai46bb-15
  • Reply 16 of 83
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    kibitzer said:
    apple ][ said:

    I want to be surprised and wowed, is that asking too much? 
    Perhaps. New Apple products lately have been more iterative than revolutionary. Don't anybody get mad at me for saying that. From a total user experience, they're still head and shoulders above anything else out there, and we're seeing further improvements on an impressive foundation.
    'Revolutionary' products are very few and far between. I am hoping that the event will bring something new to the laptop line. Perhaps even a amalgamation of the MB / MBA lines into a single line based on the present MB line.
    canukstorm
  • Reply 17 of 83
    Would anyone else like to see a USB-3 port on the Time Capsule ?
    I'd hope we may also see a Retina Air & as suggested an updated External Display/FW ?  
    The rest are all good, and may indeed be shades of incremental, which is all good...
  • Reply 18 of 83
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    kibitzer said:
    apple ][ said:

    I want to be surprised and wowed, is that asking too much? 
    Perhaps. New Apple products lately have been more iterative than revolutionary. Don't anybody get mad at me for saying that.
    why would anyone get mad? thats exactly how apple rolls -- iterative improvement. evolutionary, not revolutionary...those are few and far inbetween -- Apple II, Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad... major new product categories. the annual updates are iterative. but after a number of years you have tremendous improvement when compared to the original.
    pscooter63roundaboutnowai46
  • Reply 19 of 83
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    For what is worth the biggest Apple reseller in Spain has all this week a €200 price drop in all laptops, usually this kind of price cuts use to be reserved to the end of the week and is extensive to all Apple products, except the iPhone. The iPhone 5s has been in "stock clearance" mode since the beginning of the year.
  • Reply 20 of 83
    BBY has been selling the new Macbook for 300 dollars off since before Christmas, so it's hard to judge whether recent price drops are an indication of a pending refresh or just capitalism being capitalism. 
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