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What to expect from Apple's March 2016 event: iPhone SE, iPad Air 3, and... one more thing?

Posted: , by Peter K.

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What to expect from Apple's March 2016 event: iPhone SE, iPad Air 3, and... one more thing?

It's been a couple of months since Apple last held a keynote, and there's a pretty high chance that Cupertino's next one will take place in mid-March. Yes, that's what we heard in the end of January, and we have all the reasons to believe that the rumor mill is correct this time. 

Apple has officially confirmed that it will livestream its special March event on iOS, Mac and Apple TV. It will start at 10AM PT | 1PM ET. The subtitle of the event is "Let us loop you in", which is hinting at something Apple Watch oriented. As a reminder, Apple held a "Spring Forward" keynote back on March 9, 2015, where it announced additional details about its first wearable, the Apple Watch. These are merely rumors, however, so take them with as much salt as you can possibly stomach.

So, what should we expect from Apple's next event? Quite a lot of things, actually. We expect to see a couple of highly rumored gadgets. Let's see what these are:

Apple iPhone SE |  Apple iPad Air 3 | Apple Watch 2 | One more thing...

Apple iPhone SE 

What to expect from Apple's March 2016 event: iPhone SE, iPad Air 3, and... one more thing?
Apple might be prepping a new smaller-sized and more affordable 4" iPhone -- rumor has it that the device will be called the iPhone SE, with "SE" reportedly standing for "special edition", though earlier rumor had it that it will be called the iPhone 6c and 5se. We heard that it will cost roughly $450 once it hits the shelves, and at this point, we are fairly certain that it will replace the iPhone 5s as the most affordable phone in Apple's current lineup.

Anyways, as per some of the recently leaked images, the device might turn out to be an iPhone 6/6s lookalike utilizing dimensions that seem to be almost spot-on with the older iPhone 5s, which will certainly be more than welcome for all those users out there not keen on the 4.7" iPhone 6/6s and the way larger 5.5" iPhone 6 Plus. Wait, what is this that we hear? Yes, a happy outcry from all the small-phone lovers out there!

What to expect from Apple's March 2016 event: iPhone SE, iPad Air 3, and... one more thing?
Despite its seemingly compact dimensions, the iPhone SE might be packing a mean punch for its size: the rumor mill claims it could be powered by the Apple A9 chipset, complemented by the M9 motion co-processor. As a reminder, it saw the light of day alongside the iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and is one of the best mobile chipsets around. The new iPhone SE will come in 16GB and 64GB versions, another improvement from the iPhone 5s which came in 16GB and 32GB versions.

Apart from such a speedy silicon, the SE munchkin is said to come with an 8MP iSight shooter at the back, aided by a dual-LED flash, while the front of the phone will likely house a 1.3MP FaceTime snapper. For more info on the small device, make sure to check out our dedicated rumor review for the iPhone 5se right below. You can check out the iPhone 7/7 Plus one while you're at it as well!

Apple iPhone 5se as imagined by casemaker Rearth

Apple iPhone 5se as imagined by casemaker Rearth

It's been some time since Apple updated its iPad Air lineup of tablets, but it seems that this might happen at the rumored March event. Recently, we've been dealing with lots of rumors regarding it, most of which paint a pretty similar picture - the iPad Air 3 will most probably be a slightly scaled-down version of the iPad Pro. Drawings and schematics that claim to show what the iPad Air 3 will look like seem to agree that the iPad Air 3 will inherit the design language of its larger 12.9" sibling but in a smaller, 9.7" body.

What to expect from Apple's March 2016 event: iPhone SE, iPad Air 3, and... one more thing?
It seems that the iPad Pro might not only "donate" its exterior to the Air 3, but its hardware as well. This means that we might see an Apple A9X inside, paired with 4 gigs of RAM. While we are pretty much sure that the A9X could be powering the slate, we will take this alleged amount of RAM with a bit of salt. True, it's not impossible for Apple to adorn the iPad Air 3 with 4GB of RAM, but we feel that this will likely remain an exclusive highlight of the iPad Pro for the time being. We will be happy for Apple to prove us wrong, though - the more RAM, the better!

Additionally, a quad speaker setup might be making the rounds on the third-gen iPad Air, as well as a LED flash to aid the iSight camera in low-light scenarios. The latter is pretty intriguing, as no other iPad has had a flash before. Will the iPad Air 3 be a pioneer in this regard? Remains to be seen.

iPad Air 3 might look the same as the iPad Pro, but in a smaller package

iPad Air 3 might look the same as the iPad Pro, but in a smaller package

Apple Watch 2 

An Apple Watch 2 concept

An Apple Watch 2 concept

Though we are not expecting to see the Apple Watch 2 unveiled at the March '16 event, we are not ruling out this possibility at all. Remember what happened last year - Tim Cook & Co first introduced the wearable and provided basic info about it during the early-year Spring Forwards event, and only after half a year or so spilled all the beans and released the smartwatch in late fall. It's possible that the same approach could be taken this year as well, i.e. the gadget might be partly unveiled next month and not become available until later in 2016. That falls in line with some rumors that came our way in late September 2015, and all things considered, sounds pretty logical. 

That said, we have close to no idea as to what the Apple Watch 2 might look like or what novel features it might bring to the table. No leaks have hit us yet, and the rumor mill is keeping quiet on the matter.

A virtual reality headset?

Yes, you read that correctly. Rumor has it that Apple might be prepping for a jump into virtual reality, which is among the hottest trends in the tech world right now, with all the major tech companies having a VR in the pipeline. Cupertino might be looking forward to getting a piece of the VR action and there is lots of evidence supporting this. First of all, recently we heard that a few VR heaset prototypes have already been built by an in-house team of experts in the fields of virtual and augmented reality. Said experts got involved with Apple after the latter bought the companies they worked for; others got poached from Microsoft, Lytro, and other tech companies. One of the more recent dead giveaways of Apple's plans is the employing of Doug Bowman, the Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech who was exploring VR interfaces. Lastly, Apple acquired Flyby Media, a company that allows mobile devices to scan real world objects and add them to a virtual collection.

What to expect from Apple's March 2016 event: iPhone SE, iPad Air 3, and... one more thing?
Interestingly, Apple had tried to patent a VR headset all the way back in 2008, which was granted just last year. From the looks of it, said headgear works in concert with an iPhone which needs to be inserted in the headgear and function as the headset's display. We can only hope that its headset, if real, won't look like the accompanying patent images...

All of these facts suggest that Cupertino is exploring the field of virtual reality, though we are not convinced that such a gadget could be unveiled during the rumored March event. However, we shouldn't rule that out, as a VR headset sounds like a pretty intriguing "one more thing"!

  • Options

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 09:10 11

1. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14633; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

How is a 1.3MP camera acceptable, when even cheap phones have 2.0MP or better?

VR?! IS Apple copying Samsung? Come on where is your quote that Apple is following Samsung, liek you guys claim in apple articles? Like the one yesterday claiming Samsung is following Apple in making a battery case, when Samsung has been making them since the original Galaxy S?

What an affordable iPhone? If its not $400 or less, than many won't find it any more or less affordable. With monthly payment plans from carriers, any phone is affordable.

Apple isn't trying to make an affordable iPhone. They are simply keeping a small one around.

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 11:37

7. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

Good point, though I would wager the front camera on an Iphone is going to be a fair bit better than a cheap phone.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 00:02 1

14. 47AlphaTango (Posts: 385; Member since: 27 Sep 2015)

Apple has third party vendors which makes VR for them. So NO.

The design that was shown in this picture is still in development. And the fact that an iphone or an ipod which is inserted on the right portion of the VR means its a different design. So apple isn't copying. But if its copying. Who cares? As long as apple makes apps for the vr. Android VR will also ride and enjoy those apps that are developed for ios and android. Think positive than giving a negative comment.

They've said that the iphone 5SE should be cheaper. Let's wait for its announcement. Then thats the time to decide to comment.

posted on 21 Mar 2016, 09:54

27. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


The iPhone SE will be cheaper because it features weaker specs, not because it tips the scales of the price-to-performance's ratio.

It's still expensive, technically.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 02:35 3

15. riteshrkm (Posts: 65; Member since: 15 Apr 2015)

I dont know what Apple is going to do with the camera in its so called "se" device but apple has never been in megapixel game. Even samsung is back to 12 MP with its S7. And about 1.3 MP. If they could get der sensors right 1.3 MP can make a lot in market run for their money.

Leave about flagships. Dont u thnk the front cam of iphone 6 is better than most 5 MP & 8 MP selfie cams???

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 04:33

19. BradyCrack (Posts: 835; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)

Um so is Apple also copying HTC and LG as well? Because to me it seems Apple is playing catchup.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 06:29 1

20. nithyakr (Posts: 158; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)

How is Apple Making a VR Headset is Copying Samsung or any other manufacturer? And of course those who says Samsung Copying Apple because Samsung making a Battery pack is incorrect as hell.

The question is, is there anything to be copied at all? I don't think so.
Samsung is making their own Battery pack. Apple making their own VR headset.

Example - If a new Car company manufactures their own V8 Engine with Twin Turbo and all the stuff, are they copying Lamborghini or Ferrari? If anyone says so then he/she should be an utter fo*l!

posted on 18 Mar 2016, 10:24 3

24. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)

What a pointless rant, man

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 10:02 2

2. Luca14 (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Jan 2016)


posted on 09 Feb 2016, 10:03 4

3. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1518; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)

That Apple Watch 2 render looks gorgeous but I am sure that Jony Ive will screw the design.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 05:38 7

17. ibend (Posts: 6685; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

it need more bezels...
he love bezels

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 10:33 1

4. oozz009 (Posts: 520; Member since: 22 Jun 2015)

With an A9 (faster than Qulc. 801) packed inside, this is like a mini flagship. Or rather an iPhone 6s mini so it's no wonder that the price won't be affordable since the phone won't be in that category. Instead, it will be placed at: midrange < iPhone 5se < Current flagship. In other words, it's placed in-between a flagship and midrange smartphone but it is neither a midrange, nor a flagship. It will be priced somewhrere on the 500$

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 06:32 6

21. nithyakr (Posts: 158; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)

The A9 is faster than 801, 808, 810 and competes in the same league as 820!

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 07:45 1

23. submar (Posts: 586; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)

same league as 810

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 10:49 1

5. flavius22 (Posts: 216; Member since: 23 Aug 2015)

This article mskes me sick with this fake enthusiasm for nothing but a smaller version of a ONE AND A HALF YEARS OLD PHONE.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 05:40

18. ibend (Posts: 6685; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

its actually new phone.. they buy i5s from people for $150-$200, change some part, and sell it again for $500... easy money right? lol

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 11:28 2

6. gop79 (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Feb 2016)

The Apple Watch was revealed in September of '14, with the specifications and the like being shared in March of '15, they started on sale April of '15, not in the fall as the article indicates.

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 11:38

8. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

yea they had it reversed.

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 16:05 1

9. darkkjedii (Posts: 25058; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Please don't let that be the Apple Watch 2. Keep it rectangular for ya boy.

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 18:19

10. darkoman4 (Posts: 177; Member since: 30 May 2014)

I agree. I see no point in having circular smartwatch. Regular watches have a reason why they are round, but computers on a wrist should use as much of the screen real estate as possible and not be round just for the sake of it.

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 19:20 1

11. Chuck007 (Posts: 1307; Member since: 02 Mar 2014)

I think it's safe to say the "one more thing" will be a new Mac?

posted on 21 Mar 2016, 10:18

28. bucky (Posts: 3138; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

would be nice to see a macbook pro follow the looks of the macbook 12".

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 19:45

12. jeroome86 (Posts: 2127; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

Apple Watch not water resistant ? This is one feature I like to have on a watch. Still undecided on taking the smart watch plunge.

posted on 09 Feb 2016, 23:10 1

13. AlikMalix (unregistered)

None of this stuff is as interesting as the years before... What's going on Apple? Out of ideas? Who's going to set the trends; bigger screens and higher specs is just progression - us nerds need more than this...

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 04:57 6

16. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3371; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

iPad Air 3 with A9X and a lower resolution than the iPad Pro is going to be such a monster.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 06:49 1

22. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1518; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)

however it would of no use to me because iPads run on iOS

posted on 21 Mar 2016, 12:04 1

29. another1 (Posts: 157; Member since: 25 Dec 2015)

Honest question: if you hate iOS, why did you click on this article? Do you hope to use iOS one day?

posted on 21 Mar 2016, 12:52

30. sissy246 (Posts: 4071; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)

Honest ?: if apple fanboys hate Samsung why do they click on Samsung articles.
See goes both was.

posted on 18 Mar 2016, 18:25 1

25. AndroidBoy21 (Posts: 72; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)

I would like a circular Apple watch please.

posted on 20 Mar 2016, 23:53 2

26. Mube007 (Posts: 249; Member since: 24 Sep 2013)

to be very honest 4 inch screen now a days looks crap for 90% users

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