Tuesday, March 27, 2018. That continues Apple’s pattern of holding spring events later and later in March.
- 2016: March 21
- 2015: March 9
- 2012: March 7
- 2011: March 2
Where is Apple’s 2018 March Event being held?
The Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, you’d think? But no: It’s being held in Chicago this time.
Does an education event mean we won’t see new iPhones, iPads, or Macs?
Hard to say. We could get there and see new Books (formerly, iBooks) and new Classroom for iPad software. And that’s it. Or we could see the next version of the less expensive 9.7-inch iPad and new Apple Pencil to go with it, and maybe the new, updated MacBook Air for students.
Nothing is official until Apple announces it, so let’s just cover all the bases.
Will we see new iPads Pro?
Apple updated the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and introduced the 10.5-inch iPad Pro back in June. That’s only 9 months ago for a product that typically enjoys a 12-18 month refresh rate.
But Apple silicon – in this case, the September-launched A11 bionic — waits on no refresh rate, and the idea of iPads Pro getting MacBook Pro-style spec bumps is appealing. (Even if it causes grumbles from those who just bought the previous model.)
Arguably, the bigger advances awaiting iPads Pro are OLED displays, TrueDepth cameras, Face ID, and new screen improvements for the Apple Pencil.
Given OLED constraints and Apple’s desire to push the display technology to two new iPhones this year, it seems extremely unlikely for iPad. Whether Apple can produce enough TrueDepth modules or tries to push LED edge-to-edge, we’ll have to wait and see.
What about a new, cheap 9.7-inch iPad or a new iPad mini?
Another example of Apple launching new products even when it doesn’t hold events, 2017 saw a new, less-expensive iPad — roughly analogous to an iPad Air 1.5 with updated processors, it was targeted at people who still had iPad 2 or other, older, devices.
So the questions becomes: Does Apple keep that model around and push prices down even lower — into cheap video tablet ranges — or keep the price the same and bump up the specs?
iPad mini is an even harder knot to cut. Steve Jobs never wanted a small tablet. Eddy Cue convinced him of its value. And it worked… for a while. But when iPhone went big and bigger, the iPhone Plus cut into the iPad minus.
Now, with rumors of an even bigger iPhone on the horizon, is there any space left at all for an iPad mini or 7.9-inch iPad Pro?
As someone who’d love a big phone or tiny tablet with Apple Pencil support, I just hope Apple offers one of those products by year’s end.
Could we see a new Apple Pencil 2?
You mean a No. 2 Pencil? (No, you stop!) Serenity certainly hopes so:
With Apple’s March event lurking around the corner and taunting us with the possibility of new education tools, iPads, and AirPower charging mats, I’m more interested in what might happen to the tool that doesn’t get much rumor love: the Apple Pencil.
The Apple Pencil is one of my favorite accessories that Apple has ever made, and it’s practically a requirement if you own an iPad Pro. But it’s not without flaws… there’s also the exclusivity factor: The Pencil is an incredible tool for artists, but it can also be useful in classroom and education situations. Unfortunately, unless you happen to be running a multi-million dollar school, the iPad Pro’s $649 starting price makes supporting the Pencil a bit pricey.
AirPower and AirPods 2?
Apple teased AirPower inductive charging pads and inductive charging cases for AirPods back in September of 2017. It would be odd to rehash them rather than launch them, but if they’re ready and there’s at least a slide’s worth of new information to talk about, why not? (Especially if that AirPower mat also charges Apple Pencil 2.)
There are rumors of water-resistance and Hey, Siri-capable AirPods 2, and even AirPods-style, high-end, over-the-ear headphones as well. It might be too early for those, though……….Reads More>>
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