[Updated with live streaming details]
Just under the wire for its usual window of notifying the press, Apple on Thursday confirmed that it will indeed hold a product announcement event on Monday, March 21. The rumor mill has twisted and turned quite considerably on what should be expected at the event, but currently it is believed that Apple CEO Tim Cook and others will show off a new four-inch iPhone model (currently dubbed the "iPhone SE," and said to be similar to an underpowered iPhone 6 in a smaller form factor), a new iPad model, and some Apple Watch announcements during the presentation, which will be streamed live
on many devices.
The meaning of the phrase "let us loop you in" refers this time to the venue for the event will be held in, the Town Hall auditorium in Apple's current headquarters, at 1 Infinite Loop. This would also mean that the event will be a press-only gathering, as the capacity of the venue is small. MacNN
had previously reported
that a number of Apple's other preferred venues were booked up on the day in question. What meaning there might be in the muted translucence of the design, or the color choices, remains to be seen.
Speculation has it that the 9.7-inch iPad that would normally have been called the "iPad Air 3" will now gain a number of iPad Pro-like features, ranging from four speakers for all-angle stereo sound to support for the $99 Apple Pencil drawing stylus. The alleged "iPhone SE" is much less clear on specifics, but is generally thought to be a new model with iPhone 6/6s styling, a smaller display, and some key Apple technologies not found in the still-sold iPhone 5s, such as full support for Apple Pay.
Originally, the event was to be centered around the introduction of an "Apple Watch 2," but this idea was eventually dropped in favor of a much simpler plan for new accessories, such as bands, and possible new fashion-oriented partnerships such as the one that resulted in the Apple Watch Hermés. It's conceivable that the event could also be used to introduce other items not currently being actively rumored, such as refreshed MacBook-family hardware or software updates.
Currently, all four of Apple's OS platforms -- OS X, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS -- are in what is believed to be a late beta stage
, with each bringing some new features to the respective devices. It would be unsurprising if the betas were finalized in time for the event. MacNN
will of course provide complete coverage of any announcements to come out of the gathering.
Apple has updated its official Apple Events page and revealed that it will broadcast the event using HTTP Live Streaming, which requires an iOS device running iOS 7 or later, or a second-and-later-generation Apple TV. Viewers using Macs will need at least Safari 6.0.5 or later (and running OS X 10.8.5 or higher), while Windows users will need the Microsoft Edge browser and Windows 10. The event will kick off at 10AM Pacific Time (1PM Eastern).