What to expect at Apple's spring event 2017: What happened at Apple spring event 2016
Apple March 2016 event as it happened: Apple March 2016 event live blog
How can I watch Apple's 21 March launch event live stream? And what will Apple launch on 21 March - the iPhone SE? Or new iPads and Macs?
Welcome to our 21 March launch event article, with our Apple event liveblog and how to watch Apple's March launch event live. We'll be discussing all the rumours ahead of Apple's 'Let us loop you in' launch event, which starts at 5pm UK time tonight (Monday 21 March), and giving you an idea of what to expect: the iPhone SE, the iPad Air 3, new Apple Watch straps, maybe even some Macs. We also explain how to watch the iPhone SE launch event live, and we'll post all the announcements here in our iPhone SE launch liveblog as soon as they appear. Check back regularly - we'll be updating this article constantly.
Stay tuned to this page for all the latest rumours about the 21 March event as they appear, and make sure to follow all the announcements with Macworld on the night: our liveblog, including news, product details and photos, and expert commentary on the announcements, will appear on this page.
See also: Our Apple launch event drinking game - for those who want to finish the night a lot less sober than they start it.
New iPhone SE launch: podcast discussion
How to watch Apple March 2016 event live: Apple March event live stream
Apple will stream its 21 March launch event live. The event starts at 10am local time, which (because of complications due to Daylight Savings Time) translates to 5pm UK time. (To be clear, that's 5pm, not 6pm as we said previously!) You can watch it on Apple's website, provided you meet certain hardware requirements.
(Note, too, that the video will remain online after the event happens - you can still watch the past seven launch events at the link above - so if you miss it, don't despair. Indeed, this might be worth bearing in mind ahead of time, because our experience suggests that there will be some boring bits at the start of the keynote speech - revenue figures, sales numbers and so on. If you start the video later, you'll be able to skip ahead to the good stuff.)
You can watch the launch event on an iPad or iPhone, on a Mac, on an Apple TV, or (for the first time!) on a Windows PC.
If you're on an iPad or iPhone, you'll need to view that page in Safari on a device running iOS 4.2 or later.
If you're on a Mac, you'll need to view that page in Safari 4 or later on a system running OS X 10.6 or later.
If you're on a second- or third-generation Apple TV, you'll need to have tvOS 5.0.2 or later; an Apple Events 'app' will appear on your system automatically. If you're on a fourth-gen Apple TV, you'll need to go into the App Store and download the Apple Events app for yourself - just search for 'apple events'. (It's free.)
Finally, Apple is allowing PC users to stream the event. If you've got Windows 10 you'll be able to stream the event on that site by using the Edge browser bundled with the OS; we understand that those on earlier versions of Windows will also be able to watch the event, but they will need to use VLC or a similar media player app. Apple also states that Windows users will require QuickTime 7.
That covers the live video. But for expert analysis of the announcements as they come, you can follow our iPhone SE launch event live blog. We'll get past the hype and company statements to tell you what the announcements really mean for you.
Update: Apple Store is down!
Update, 21 March, noon: Apple has closed its storefront ahead of tonight's launch event. (The below screenshot is from the Apple Store iOS app.) But what will be added when the store reopens? The iPhone SE? The iPad Air 3? Read on for all the latest rumours.
Podcast: Our verdict on Apple's 21 March launch event
In episode seven of the UK Tech Weekly podcast, we discuss (among other things) our mixed feelings about the iPhone SE launch: it's the first segment of the clip embedded below:
The UK Tech Weekly Podcast comes out every Friday. You can subscribe for regular updates, and remember to like and comment on the podcast if you enjoyed it, or have suggestions for topics we can discuss in future.
Apple's 21 March launch event: The latest rumours
Update, Thu 10 March 2016: The invites have gone out and, sure enough, Apple's next keynote announcement event will be held on Monday 21 March 2016 at 10am PDT - which translates to 5pm here in the UK.
The invitation image, reproduced below, contains the cryptic phrase 'Let us loop you in', beneath a heavily zoomed-in view of the Apple logo picked out in what appear to be the four iPhone colours: silver, gold, Space Grey and rose gold; the jury's out on whether this should lead us to expect new iPhones (such as the iPhone SE, most obviously), new iPads or MacBooks to become available in the iPhone colour palette, or a combination of these things. We'd be surprised if the word 'loop' doesn't refer to new Apple Watch announcements, but this might just be new watch bands.
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.
Plus, the 4in iPhone 6c, which rumours now suggest will in fact be called the iPhone SE, could make an appearance too. The fabled 4in iPhone is said to boast an iPhone 5-esque design with curved edges, and may feature Touch ID an A8 processor according to rumours.
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.
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 along with a FaceTime camera. It may also offer better battery life and crucially, 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. This could include new Sports Band options, additional colours of the new Hermes bands, a black version of the Milanese Loop (which leaked and can be seen above) and an all-new line of bands made from a completely different material. There could also be updates to the Apple Watch's software.
Read more about the Apple Watch 2 launch date and new features here.
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.
Read more about the new MacBook Air release date and new features here.
Read more about all the new Apple products expected in 2016 here.
On the following page, you can read about last year's March event at which Apple launched the original Apple Watch and the MacBook...