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Getting into the loop: What to expect at Apple's next event

Posted: 21 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple? Apple TV? iPhone?

... thus leading to the belief that the next 9.7in iPad will be of the higher-end "Pro" flavor, following in the footsteps of the initial 12.9in family member unveiled last September. Powered by the A9 or (more likely) A9X SoC, it'll like its big brother also include a supplemental keyboard and stylus along with a high-end speaker array (and maybe even offer 4GB of RAM). Will it sell in high volumes? Doubtful. But will it have a high profit margin? Indubitably.

New Apple Watch band variants

The next-generation Apple Watch is nowhere in sight, so the rumour mill reports that the company will attempt to "goose" demand for the existing model by unveiling additional band options (thereby leading to another potential inference for the word "loop"). I know ... yawn...

iOS update

Apple seeded its most recent seventh beta of iOS 9.3 on Monday, so if all goes well, it may be released in "gold" form next Monday, as well as shipped by default in the already mentioned new hardware. Updates versus iOS 9.2 are minimal, but hey, anything to fill a few more keynote slides and event minutes, right?

iPhone 7

Supposed prototype hardware, complete with a dual-camera set-up that's becoming increasingly common, is beginning to leak into the public domain. But Apple has historically revealed its notable new iPhone models in the fall (since the iPhone 4S ... in the summer previously). And I don't see any reason why they'd deviate from the norm this time (with all due respect to the previously mentioned and forecasted iPhone SE).

Mac OS X update

Websites have been logging visits from computers running next-generation Mac OS 10.12 since last fall, and the traffic has been steadily increasing since then. Still, new Mac OS X releases are typically unveiled at the yearly Worldwide Developers Conference, which typically takes place in June (the dates of this year's event have not yet been officially announced), so I doubt we'll get any public information on "Fuji" until at least then.

New Macs

Like the 9.7in iPad Air 2, Apple's computers are looking increasingly geriatric; none of the company's mobile models, for example, are currently based on Intel's latest 14nm-fabricated "Skylake" processors. MacBook, MacBook Air, and/or MacBook Pro upgrades are therefore possible next Monday, although lingering CPU supply shortfalls coupled with a natural linkage to Mac OS X announcements make updated Macs a better bet for this summer's WWDC.

Next week, I'll report back my thoughts after Monday's unveilings. Until then, Ias alwayswelcome your thoughts in the comments.

- Brian Dipert

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