Rumor: New 4" iPhone, 'iPad Air 3' will go on sale Friday, March 18

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 2016
Just a few days days after Apple announces its anticipated latest product updates, customers could be able to get their hands on the latest iPhone and iPad refreshes, according to a new report.




Citing sources familiar with the company's plans, 9to5mac reported on Friday that Apple's new 4-inch iPhone, as well as a third-generation iPad Air, are expected to become available in Apple's stores on Friday, March 18. If true, that would be just three days after Apple is rumored to be planning to host an event to unveil the products, on March 15.

Having the new, smaller iPhone launch so soon after it is announced would be somewhat unexpected. Apple has historically made a new iPhone model available the second Friday after it is announced, though last year's iPhone 6s launch came three Fridays later.

iPad releases, however, vary from announcement to launch. For example, last September the iPad mini 4 was both announced and released on Sept. 9, while the iPad Pro was announced that day but didn't launch until November.




Production of the next-gen 4-inch iPhone is supposedly underway ahead of a rumored spring announcement. The device is said to boast a metal-backed, curved-edge design similar to the current iPhone 6s with refreshed internals like an A8 or A9 processor and NFC support for Apple Pay. Rumored names include "iPhone 6c" and "iPhone 5se."

As for the "iPad Air 3," it is expected to gain many of the features found in the iPad Pro, including the Smart Connector magnetic port and a four-speaker array. Leaked schematics also suggest the rear camera will gain an LED flash.

Beyond those two products, Apple is also expected to expand the Apple Watch lineup with new casings and bands. The company is also gearing up to launch new MacBooks sometime in the first half of the year, though it's unknown whether those will be released at a March event or some other time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    How the new Apple Watch, in light of the new $100 off pricing?
  • Reply 2 of 22
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    If Apple is going to remover the headphone jack on the 7, I'd love to see them do it here so it's all out in the open. A new 4" phone gives them an incredible test market as to what compromises people are willing to make, as well as give manufacturers a chance to amp up production of accessories that will be ready by the time the 7 arrives, without giving the competition much time to do anything about it.
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 22
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,939member
    My credit card is ready and waiting for the "Air 3". Time for my iPad 2 to find a purpose as a hand-me-down.
    jahbladewilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 22
    I say iPhone 6e. 
  • Reply 5 of 22
    Meh, I'm more interested if they'll update the macbook with skylake, that's the only upgrade I am looking forward too, my old iphone 6 works perfectly fine!
    jahbladecash907censored
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Watching the earnings call in June after a new IPad & iPhone along with possible Watch and MacBooks should be interesting. This is traditionally one of the slowest quarters they have.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    romanmar said:
    Meh, I'm more interested if they'll update the macbook with skylake, that's the only upgrade I am looking forward too, my old iphone 6 works perfectly fine!
    Agreed. I took back my New Macbook a couple weeks after buying it in December because it just wasn't powerful enough for what I needed it to do. Loved the screen, the form factor, and could tolerate the keyboard, but chugged while trying to edit photos, which was my primary use for the thing. Skylake should fix that if the benchmarks are accurate, so fingers cross and credit card ready. Hopefully the refresh will get a second USB-C port as well, because swapping power cable with adapter anytime I needed to transfer files became ridiculous quickly. That is one design I can say with a fair amount of confidence Steve Jobs would have never let make it to the final product. 
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Looking forward to the iPad Air 3, although I genuinely hope they drop the Air moniker finally. Wonder if there'll be a "S" variant of the Watch, similar to what they do with the iPhone. New Macbooks are what I'm really looking forward to hearing about the most. Would love to see a redesign, but that may be reaching for too much.
    cash907censored
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Maybe they are to add audio to the annoying "Get on our Wavelength" Pop-Ups every time you click on radio be accident.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    romanmar said:
    Meh, I'm more interested if they'll update the macbook with skylake, that's the only upgrade I am looking forward too, my old iphone 6 works perfectly fine!
    Agreed. I took back my New Macbook a couple weeks after buying it in December because it just wasn't powerful enough for what I needed it to do. Loved the screen, the form factor, and could tolerate the keyboard, but chugged while trying to edit photos, which was my primary use for the thing. Skylake should fix that if the benchmarks are accurate, so fingers cross and credit card ready. Hopefully the refresh will get a second USB-C port as well, because swapping power cable with adapter anytime I needed to transfer files became ridiculous quickly. That is one design I can say with a fair amount of confidence Steve Jobs would have never let make it to the final product. 
    You never used the MacBook Air 1,1. Thing is pokey, you bought it for the ultra portability. 
  • Reply 11 of 22
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,149member
    mac_128 said:
    If Apple is going to remover the headphone jack on the 7, I'd love to see them do it here so it's all out in the open. A new 4" phone gives them an incredible test market as to what compromises people are willing to make, as well as give manufacturers a chance to amp up production of accessories that will be ready by the time the 7 arrives, without giving the competition much time to do anything about it.
    Plus the space saving makes more sense in a smaller device.

    Not sure why it would be bluetooth though. Can't the Apple watch once paired with a phone use wifi standalone?
    What if they release a shuffle or the clip-on sized nano with the same wifi ability. Allow the device to stream and cache direct from a nearby computer or Apple cloud servers. Siri to do siri stuff. They could use FaceTime Audio system to allow your computer or phone to stream other audio to you. You could go anywhere in your wifi range and leave your phone somewhere else in the house. 

    Like a Star Trek communicator but with a lightening connector for the headphones and charging.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    jony0jony0 Posts: 270member
    How the new Apple Watch, in light of the new $100 off pricing?

    Discount 2 days before Valentine’s Day just like they did back in early December. Could it be … oh I don’t know … simply another loss leader offer ? Just my 2 cents and I’ll stick to it until Monday morning. If the discounts are still there then we’re all back on the rumour mill I guess.

  • Reply 13 of 22
    iPhone6B for "budget"
  • Reply 14 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    How the new Apple Watch, in light of the new $100 off pricing?
    Best Buy had it for $150 off during Black Friday...you won't buy it anyway. Why ask?
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 15 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,891member
    romanmar said:
    Meh, I'm more interested if they'll update the macbook with skylake, that's the only upgrade I am looking forward too, my old iphone 6 works perfectly fine!
    Agreed. I took back my New Macbook a couple weeks after buying it in December because it just wasn't powerful enough for what I needed it to do. Loved the screen, the form factor, and could tolerate the keyboard, but chugged while trying to edit photos, which was my primary use for the thing. Skylake should fix that if the benchmarks are accurate, so fingers cross and credit card ready. Hopefully the refresh will get a second USB-C port as well, because swapping power cable with adapter anytime I needed to transfer files became ridiculous quickly. That is one design I can say with a fair amount of confidence Steve Jobs would have never let make it to the final product. 
    Don't count on Skylake fixing Mac Book.   The simple reality is that performance is still linked to clock rate and cores.   The best I've seen indicates a few percentage increases in performance at a given clock rate.   You might get ten percent in some optimized code.   As for USB-C , I wouldn't recommend Mac Book to anybody with just one port, this one short coming makes it a bad buy in my mind.  

    Now consider this, there are heavy discounts on Mac Books right now which I take is an effort to clear inventory.     So maybe an update is closer than many consider.   This also means that speculation about how well a SkyLake Mac Book will perform can be put to rest.   My fear right now is that they will give the cores a 100 MHz boost and call it good.  Frankly that won't be good enough, we really need to see about a 500 MHz boost and a significant reduction in thermal throttling.  
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 16 of 22
    romanmar said:
    Meh, I'm more interested if they'll update the macbook with skylake, that's the only upgrade I am looking forward too, my old iphone 6 works perfectly fine!
    Hopefully the refresh will get a second USB-C port as well, because swapping power cable with adapter anytime I needed to transfer files became ridiculous quickly. That is one design I can say with a fair amount of confidence Steve Jobs would have never let make it to the final product. 
    Methinks you didn't know Mr Jobs very well. A single USB-C port is *exactly* the sort of thing Jobs was famous for insisting on. The surprise is that it happened under Tim Cook's leadership.
    nostrathomasmac fan
  • Reply 17 of 22
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    cash907censored said:
    . Hopefully the refresh will get a second USB-C port as well, because swapping power cable with adapter anytime I needed to transfer files became ridiculous quickly. 
    There is only room for two ports on the rMB. The only way they will drop the 3.5mm jack is if they drop it on the iPhone as rumored. If that happens, the 3.5mm jack will not be replaced with a 2nd USB-C but a Lightning port, which is almost as good, but you'll need an adapter for your USB-C devices. It's a small trade off to get two multi-function ports. And we won't see it until after the iPhone 7 is released without it. Of course they might surprise us and remove it on the rumored "6c" in which case they could refresh it at any time.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Agreed. I took back my New Macbook a couple weeks after buying it in December because it just wasn't powerful enough for what I needed it to do. Loved the screen, the form factor, and could tolerate the keyboard, but chugged while trying to edit photos, which was my primary use for the thing. Skylake should fix that if the benchmarks are accurate, so fingers cross and credit card ready. Hopefully the refresh will get a second USB-C port as well, because swapping power cable with adapter anytime I needed to transfer files became ridiculous quickly. That is one design I can say with a fair amount of confidence Steve Jobs would have never let make it to the final product. 
    You never used the MacBook Air 1,1. Thing is pokey, you bought it for the ultra portability. 
    Actually I did. I took that back too after a week. Great concept, loved Steve's manila envelope reveal, but nowhere near powerful enough and that pop down usb port was kind of ridiculous. The second gen was a huge improvement. Portability is worthless if it's not capable of doing the tasks you purchased it for while porting it around. 
  • Reply 19 of 22
    mac_128 said:
    If Apple is going to remover the headphone jack on the 7, I'd love to see them do it here so it's all out in the open. A new 4" phone gives them an incredible test market as to what compromises people are willing to make, as well as give manufacturers a chance to amp up production of accessories that will be ready by the time the 7 arrives, without giving the competition much time to do anything about it.
    I wouldn't be so sure. If the 4" is not built using the latest hardware and isn't offered in all 3 storage configurations, then it seems more like something aimed at a second-tier market - people who are looking for a cheaper iPhone. All rumours seems to indicate this.

    If that is the case, then the target market for the 4" isn't the people who will spend more on buying a pair of wireless earphones/ headphones, so it may not have the desired effect.

    If Apple includes a pair of wireless speakers (which doesn't seem likely) in the 4", then it would probably result in a price point that isn't attractive to the very market they are supposedly targeting with this.

    All this is conjecture however. There is no confirmation that Apple will release a new 4" model, though there are too many rumours floating around to write off the possibility.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    mac_128 said:
    If Apple is going to remover the headphone jack on the 7, I'd love to see them do it here so it's all out in the open. A new 4" phone gives them an incredible test market as to what compromises people are willing to make, as well as give manufacturers a chance to amp up production of accessories that will be ready by the time the 7 arrives, without giving the competition much time to do anything about it.
    I wouldn't be so sure. If the 4" is not built using the latest hardware and isn't offered in all 3 storage configurations, then it seems more like something aimed at a second-tier market - people who are looking for a cheaper iPhone. All rumours seems to indicate this.

    If that is the case, then the target market for the 4" isn't the people who will spend more on buying a pair of wireless earphones/ headphones, so it may not have the desired effect.

    If Apple includes a pair of wireless speakers (which doesn't seem likely) in the 4", then it would probably result in a price point that isn't attractive to the very market they are supposedly targeting with this.

    All this is conjecture however. There is no confirmation that Apple will release a new 4" model, though there are too many rumours floating around to write off the possibility.
    Oh I don't diasgree. If this is an entry level phone more similar to a "5se", then I wouldn't expect them to eliminate the headphone jack. Then again, it's not going to have all of the features of the 6S either which is what I am predicating my theory on. If Apple does this, I'm expecting a "5se" and a "6c". Otherwise Apple is leaving money on the table from those who can afford to pay more but prefer a 4" model. It's the "6c" that would be the perfect model to test this on, perhaps even more so if there is an entry level option to give the customer choice -- budget features with headphone jack, or state of the art without?
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