Scroll to the bottom for updates following this morning's launch.
Apple CEO Tim Cook made headlines today, but in contrast to the last few weeks the talk won't be about encryption. Instead, expect technical details of another kind — measured in inches, processing speed, and pixels. At an Apple event this morning in Cupertino, analysts expect Cook to unveil a smaller iPhone SE along with a 9.7-inch version of its iPad Pro. So reports CNet, which further speculates the company will debut new Apple Watch features.
The event began at 10 a.m., and showcased what is set to be the least expensive iPhone yet: The aforementioned iPhone SE. The SE was predicted to be four inches, like the iPhone 5S, and the Chronicle reports that the company is going after the contingent of consumers that don't want a phablet (those iPhone 6's don't do so well with skinny jeans, we've heard).
The anticipated iPhone 7 is expected this coming September, notes CNet, and with currently half of all iPhone users in the US running models that are two years old, Apple appears to be gambling that this new phone will encourage people to upgrade. The price of the iPhone SE, which is expected to have similar guts to the iPhone 6 but the exterior of the iPhone 5S, is predicted to be priced between $350 and $450.
The expected details on the updated iPad Pro are not as clear, but KRON 4 suggests we may see new features like a detachable keyboard and stylus. As for the Apple Watch, mostly software updates and some new bands are likely.
While today's launch may not have the excitement of an iPhone 7 debut, Apple does have a history of burying big surprises in these events. You can watch the official event stream, or tune into Cnet's running coverage below.
Update: The event is over, and here's what went down: Perhaps most notably, Apple's CEO Tim Cook opened with a rousing defense of his company's efforts to support encryption in the face of government demands that the company build a backdoor into iPhones.
"Apple didn't expect to be at odds with our own government, but we have a responsibility to protect your data and privacy." Apple CEO Cook.— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) March 21, 2016
On the tech side, Wired reports that the new iPhone SE will cost $400, and comes with "the style and components of the bigger iPhone 6S with a 4-inch screen and a form factor in line with the iPhone 5s." Likewise, Apple announced a 9.7-inch iPad Pro — smaller than the 12.9-inch model currently offered, notes Wired — designed to work with the Apple Pencil and keyboard. Oh, and the Apple Watch now starts at $299, $50 less than before, and it comes with a few new bands.
Meanwhile, not everyone was impressed with the day's announcements.
"We have officially run out of ideas for new products."#AppleEvent— Jeff Bakalar (@jeffbakalar) March 21, 2016
Sometimes...when the coolest thing you've got is the same phone, but smaller, like before...maybe skip the audience event? #AppleEvent— Sam Roberts (@notsam) March 21, 2016
On the other hand, helpful Twitter users have started to point out a potential advantage of the new, smaller iPhone.