New Apple Watch bands, iPhone 6c and iPad Air 3 expected at 21 March event


If rumours are to believed, Apple will hold its next special event in March 2016, where it’ll unveil two highly-anticipated new products: the iPhone 6c and iPad Air 3, along with a few new Apple Watch accessories. Here’s what we know so far.

At the end of January, rumours about a March event flooded the web after months of much quieter speculation, with the consensus suggesting that the week of 14 March was the one to mark in your diaries – more specifically, 15 March 2016. However, only weeks before the reported event was due to take place, Buzzfeed reported that the event had been pushed back by a week, and will now take place on Monday 21 March 2016.
Anonymous sources have reportedly told 9To5Mac that the iPad Air 3 is the most likely new product coming at the March event. Apple surprised us by skipping an October event this year, which traditionally sees updates to the iPad range. Instead, Apple unveiled the all-new iPad Pro and a new iPad mini 4 at its busy event in September alongside the new iPhones.

That means the iPad Air is overdue an update, so a March event to unveil the new model seems likely.

Additionally, though, we could see the introduction of new Apple Watch bands to coincide with the original launch event, which took place in March 2015. Plus, a 4in iPhone 6c, which rumours now suggest will in fact be called the iPhone 5se, could make an appearance too.

Apple has held other events in March over the years, including the launch of the Apple Watch and MacBook in 2015 and the launch of the iPad 3 back in 2012.

Apple March event rumours: Apple Watch 2

While it was originally believed that the Apple Watch 2 would make an appearance at the March event, rumours now suggest that Apple is pushing the release back until September 2016 to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 7. The new Watch is said to offer sleep tracking and better health sensor technologies. It may also offer better battery life, a FaceTime camera, and crucially that it will be less reliant on the iPhone.

So, what can we expect from the March event instead? According to 9to5Mac, there will be a number of new Apple Watch straps available including a completely new line of straps. This could include new Sports Band options, additional colours of the new Hermes bands, a black version of the Milanese Lopp and an all-new line of bands made from a different material. There could also be updates to the Apple Watch’s software.


Apple March event rumours: iPhone 6c/iPhone 5se/iPhone SE

In our poll of almost 2,000 people that asked what their ideal size of iPhone would be, 48% voted 4in, and it looks like they may soon get their wish. Rumour has it that an iPhone 6c is coming and that it could arrive in the Spring, with all evidence pointing towards a reveal at the March event.

The new 4in iPhone, which is said to come in an iPhone 5s-esque metallic case (rather than the iPhone 5c plastic case), is expected to offer an improved camera compared to the iPhone 5s, an A8 processor and Touch ID. And it might be called the iPhone 5se or just iPhone SE (for Special Edition, apparently).

Apple March event rumours: iPad Air 3

The iPad Air wasn’t updated in 2015 so it is expected to see an update soon, and the rumoured March event would be perfect for this launch.

The rumours suggest that the iPad Air 3 will be even thinner than the iPad Air 2, that the aluminium it is crafted from will be even stronger than the current model, that a rose gold version might make an appearance, and that the megapixel count on the camera might improve.

We also expect that A9X chip (as found in the iPad Pro) might appear in the new iPad Air 3. The introduction of iPad Pro-like stereo speakers and upgraded internals has led some to believe that Apple will call the iPad Air 3 the ‘smaller iPad Pro’, which we think is slightly ridiculous.

Apple March event rumours: New MacBook Air

Another product rumoured to be in the pipeline is an update to the MacBook Air, with the 11in model disappearing from the lineup and a new 15in model being added.

There have been some rumours that it may gain a Retina screen, but it seems unlikely as that would put it in competition with the MacBook Pro and the MacBook, and we imagine that Apple wants to keep the price down.

It is likely that the new MacBook Air will gain Force Touch features, however.