The Latest Rumors Surrounding Apple’s March 21 Event
Apple’s “Let us loop you in” event is right around the corner, and the question on everyone’s mind is what the company will announce on March 21.
Apple has used its catchy event themes in the past to hint at what it’ll talk about at its events. Given the company’s mention of a “loop,” it seems quite likely that Apple will announce new Apple Watch bands at the event. Some earlier reports suggested Apple could update its popular wearable, but the latest rumors say the company will instead focus on new watch band accessories and leave the second-generation Apple Watch for sometime later this year.
One of the worst-kept secrets in Apple (AAPL) land is a new, smaller iPhone. Over the last several months, several Apple-tracking sites, including Macrumors and 9to5Mac, as well as a slew of analysts, have said Apple is currently manufacturing a 4-inch iPhone to complement the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.
Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.
Still, there are some question marks. For one, while several reports have suggested that Apple would launch a new design, a 9to5Mac report on Friday cited sources who said the company would keep a nearly identical design to the iPhone 5s, a smartphone it’s already selling and launched in 2013. Despite that, nearly all the rumors agree Apple will offer its A9 processor in the next iPhone, matching the chip in its iPhone 6s line. In addition, Apple is expected to offer a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and offer up to 64GB of internal storage.
Now let’s turn to the iPad. Apple’s tablet business has been slipping in recent quarters. In the company’s most-recent quarter ended Dec. 26, Apple’s iPad unit sales were down 25% and revenue slipped 21%. It was just the latest in a long line of declines in that division.
Still, Apple continues to try to make a mark. Since last year’s launch of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, rumors have surfaced saying the company will unveil a smaller, slimmed-down version of its enterprise-focused slate on March 21. According to several rumors, as well as design schematics published by Engadget, the new iPad Pro will come with a 9.7-inch display, making it notably smaller than Apple’s earlier launch. Apple is expected to offer the A9X processor, matching the chip found in its current iPad Pro. Details on storage size are unknown, but expect the tablet to be running iOS 9.
For more on Apple’s March 21 event, watch:
Which brings us to software. All accounts suggest that Apple’s March 21 event will be a somewhat minor showcase, offering cheaper, smaller versions of its currently available products. However, the company could also focus on some software updates.
For one, Apple has been testing iOS 9.3 with developers for quite some time. It’s expected that iOS 9.3 will come out of beta on March 21 and deliver new features, including improvements to the Notes app and a new Night Shift feature, which makes looking at your iOS device a bit easier on the eyes in dark environments.
Not to be outdone, Apple Watch might also get a software update. Like iOS 9.3, Apple has been sending betas of its watchOS to developers, suggesting a consumer launch is in the offing. That said, aside from improved Apple Maps support, it’s unlikely that the new watchOS will be a major upgrade, according to rumors.
As for Apple’s OS X and tvOS? It’s tough to say. There are hints that Apple could offer upgrades to the operating systems running on its Macs and latest Apple TV. However, the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which is typically in June, is where Apple showcases its latest and greatest software improvements, so don’t expect too many major upgrades—if there are any.
Beyond that, it’s hard to believe Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t at least talk about privacy. After all, his company has been battling with the FBI over data privacy over the last several weeks, and he has been exceedingly outspoken about his stance against government intrusion. Look for Cook to talk about that FBI battle and perhaps even hint that better encryption is coming to the company’s cloud-based platform iCloud.
But then again, take all of this with the proverbial grain of salt. Apple is notoriously tight-lipped and tends to have some surprises up its sleeve for every press event. It’s possible all of the rumors are true and it will unveil a new iPhone and iPad, or the company could surprise us with something new. At this point, only Apple knows for sure what it’s announcing on March 21, and it’s not telling until 1 p.m. ET that day.