March 21st Apple Event For iPad, Small iPhone, Some Apple Watch Stuff Is A Go

Update: The date of next month’s Apple event has been pushed forward to March 21st from an earlier date of March 15th. News that the date had shifted was reported by Re/Code and Buzzfeed earlier today and we’ve independently confirmed that the event’s date has been moved up about a week. It lands on a Monday, which is unusual, but likely has to do with the fact that the first hearing in Apple’s back and forth with the FBI is set for March 22nd, that Tuesday. Tuesday is Apple’s preferred day of the week for product launches. We’ve also confirmed that the event will take place at Apple’s Town Hall on its Cupertino campus, rather than in San Francisco. We’ve updated the article to reflect the new information.

Back when I reported on whether we would see a full new ‘Apple Watch 2.0’ in March (still no), I mentioned that a March event from Apple could still happen — and that likely releases would be an iPad and smaller iPhone. At the time, the event was in a state of flux, according to a couple of sources — basically in a holding pattern that depended on what hardware was ready.

Now, it looks like the date has solidified. March 21st is the date, according to sources, and we should indeed be seeing a rumored 4″ iPhone and a new iPad. Reports from 9to5Mac and Buzzfeed News earlier today are also marking that date and those products. As I noted in my original report, a full new Apple Watch model with redesigned hardware is not in the cards for this Q1 event — but new accessories could be. Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski says new bands are in store and Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac says a black Milanese band (yes, please), new sport bands and new Hermès bands are in store.

The smaller iPhone and iPad are both hardware bits I’ve been hearing about — and have been being reported for a while. Additional rumors included Skylake Macbooks, but I haven’t heard that those are ready so looks like we should be prepared to wait on that.

When contacted, Apple declined to “comment on rumor or speculation”.

Image Credit: S. Horndasch