March Event Could See Launch of iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 and New Apple Watch Bands

Apple is rumored to be planning to host a March event to unveil new products, but exact details on what will be shown off at the event have been in flux. An early December rumor from 9to5Mac suggested Apple would use the event to unveil a second-generation Apple Watch, but a report from TechCrunch indicated that rumor was false – no Apple Watch 2 is in the works for an early 2016 launch.

Instead, TechCrunch shared information indicating something smaller but still watch-related could be introduced in March, perhaps a minor update to add a FaceTime camera or new bands and partnerships similar to Apple’s collaboration with Hermès. In a new report on what may come out at the March event, 9to5Mac backtracks on earlier claims of an Apple Watch 2 and instead agrees with TechCrunch, pointing towards a new Apple Watch lineup with new bands but no hardware changes.

At its September 2015 event, Apple introduced its Hermès partnership and debuted new colors for several Apple Watch bands, and we may see the same kind of update at the March event. New colors for existing bands and bands in new materials may be in the works. Apple is also planning to release watchOS 2.2 at or shortly after the event.

Apple’s March event may also see the debut of the rumored 4-inch iPhone, now thought to be called the „iPhone 5se“ to reflect its position as a successor to the iPhone 5s. The device is said to have an iPhone 5s-style exterior with iPhone 6-style curved cover. Internally, it will feature an A8 or A9 processor, NFC support for Apple Pay, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and while it won’t have 3D Touch, it will be capable of taking Live Photos.

Previous rumors have suggested we could also see the next-generation iPad Air at the March event, as it is said to be debuting in the spring of 2016.

Though no Apple Watch 2 update is planned for early 2016, a second-generation update is undoubtedly in the works. It’s possible Apple could be planning to release a new Apple Watch in the fall months alongside the iPhone 7.

Apple’s plans for a March event remain tentative, and should products not be ready for release, there’s a possibility that it could be canceled in favor of an online-only unveiling and announcement for the 4-inch iPhone and new Apple Watch bands.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, Apple Watch, watchOS 2, iPhone 5se (2016), iPhone 6c
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Air (Don’t Buy), Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Mophie Unveils Next-Generation Powerstation External Battery Lineup

Mophie today announced the debut of a new lineup of Powerstation external batteries, which can be used to charge a range of different electronic devices, including Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The new Powerstation battery packs are Mophie’s thinnest and lightest yet, with an aluminum finish designed to mesh well with iOS devices and 15W fast charging capabilities.

Mophie’s new Powerstation products follow in the footsteps of its previous Powerstation line, with Mophie offering several different battery capacities at varying prices and sizes. Available sizes include 1X (2,000 mAh), 2X (4,000 mAh), 3X (6,000 mAh), 5X (10,000 mAh), and 8X, with the 8X size offering a capacity of 15,000 mAh, which Mophie says is equivalent to an additional 54 hours of talk time, 59 hours of web browsing, 59 hours of video playback, and 272 hours of audio time.

The smallest Powerstation, the 1X, measures in at 6.9mm thick and 95.5mm (3.76 inches) long, while the largest 8X Powerstation is 12.1mm thick and 183.9mm (7.24 inches) long, with other sizes fitting in between the two extremes.

The higher-end 5X and 8X models include support for a Mophie Power app that lets users see the remaining battery life in the Powerstation and how long it will take to charge a device to full. The app is also able to send custom notifications when batteries are low or fully charged.

All models except for the 1X version also support pass-through charging, which will charge an iOS device before charging the Powerstation. On the 3X, 5X, and 8X models, there are also two ports for charging multiple devices at one time.

Mophie’s new Powerstation lineup is available for purchase from the Mophie website, Apple.com, and Apple retail stores. Pricing starts at $39.95 for the Powerstation 1X and goes up to $149.95 for the Powerstation 8X.

Tag: Mophie
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Candle Touch offers smart lighting for people afraid of light bulbs

One company has decided that electric lamps shouldn’t be having all the fun when it comes to lighting the app-controled home of the future, so it’s come up with one of the strangest (and most interesting) ideas we’ve heard in a while: smart candles. Candle Touch will let you control the actual fire on a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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30% of iPhone Buyers in Q4 2015 Switched From an Android Smartphone [Updated]

During today’s fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company saw its highest rate of Android „switchers“ Apple had ever measured in 4Q 2015.

According to Cook, 30 percent of customers who purchased an iPhone were upgrading from an Android-based smartphone, the largest number of switchers it had seen in the three years since it started measuring switching rates. „It’s a huge number and we’re very proud of it,“ said Cook.

Based on the growing number of Android users switching to an iPhone along with the number of people who have not yet upgraded, the company believes iPhone sales during the first quarter of fiscal 2016 will be strong.

Only one third of Apple customers have upgraded to an iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, or 6s Plus, leaving two thirds of the company’s customer base using older iPhones and ripe for a new iPhone.

For the past several quarters, Tim Cook has commented on the growing rate of Android switchers, noting earlier this year that the debut of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which better compete with larger-screened Android phones, had spurred high numbers of Android switchers.

Over the course of the past year, Apple has pursued Android users aggressively. The company introduced a dedicated website for Android switchers in the fall of 2014, and with the launch of iOS 9 in September, it also introduced a new „Move to iOS“ app to make it easier for Android customers to switch to an iPhone.

Apple has also introduced a trade-in program designed to lure Android users, allowing customers to exchange their Android devices for Apple gift cards that can be put towards the purchase of an iOS device.

Overall, Apple reported quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and net profit of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share. The company sold a total of 48.04 million iPhones, 9.88 million iPads, and 5.71 million Macs.

Update: Cook’s comments actually included the qualifier that the 30-percent figure was out of those who were upgrading from another smartphone, whether it be an iPhone, and Android phone, or another platform. Since the base number does not include those customers who were new to smartphones, the share of total iPhone buyers who switched from Android would be somewhat less than 30 percent.

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Hardwell to Perform Live at Apple Store in Amsterdam This Week

Dutch electro-house DJ Hardwell, one of the most popular EDM artists worldwide, has announced on Twitter that he will talking about his career and performing a special live set at the Apple Store in Amsterdam on Thursday, October 15 at 7:15 PM local time.

Hardwell’s set will be recorded for broadcast on Beats 1 radio on Apple Music. Apple is accepting a limited number of reservations for the free performance on its Dutch website. You must have an Apple ID to make a reservation.

Apple Stores often hold free events with authors, actors, musicians, filmmakers and other notable individuals. Hardwell will be one of the more famous guests, with more than 2.4 million Twitter followers and his debut album United We Are peaking at No. 2 on Billboard’s electronic music charts.



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Sony Pictures Releases First Official Trailer for ‘The Angry Birds Movie’

Sony Pictures and Rovio today revealed the first full-length trailer for next summer’s film adaptation of the popular iOS game Angry Birds (via Coming Soon). First announced back in 2012, the movie stars Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck, Danny McBride as Bomb, and Bill Hader as the villainous pig Leonard. According to the film’s producer John Cohen, the movie aims to answer the question posed most to Rovio by the game’s fans, „Why are these birds so angry?“

The movie is set to debut in theaters on July 1, 2016. When it opens, The Angry Birds Movie will premiere about seven years after the release of the original game. Earlier in the year, developer Rovio reported its first major profit decline since the debut of the first Angry Birds, and even began laying off employees last month.



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Apple Shares Full Video of Fall ‘Hey Siri’ Event on YouTube

Two days after its jam-packed „Hey Siri“ event that saw the debut of several new products, Apple has uploaded a full video of its presentation to its YouTube channel. The same video is also available on Apple’s own event website.

Apple’s „Hey Siri“ event presentation was well-organized but fast-paced, as it covered the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the iPad Pro and its Pencil/Smart Keyboard accessories, the iPad mini 4, the Apple TV, and several new Apple Watch products, from new Rose Gold/Gold finishes for the Apple Watch Sport to exclusive Hermés Apple Watch models.

Rumors have suggested Apple’s big fall extravaganza will be its final event this year, meaning there won’t be a second event in October as there has been in years past. Apple has, however, split its upcoming product releases up over September, October, and November. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will launch on September 25, while the Apple TV will come in late October and the iPad Pro will launch in November.



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Apple Likely to Introduce iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4 at September 9 Event

Along with unveiling the next-generation iPhones, the revamped Apple TV, and new Apple Watch Sport bands at its September 9 event, Apple is also likely planning to introduce the updated iPad mini 4 and the much-anticipated larger-screened iPad Pro, reports 9to5Mac.

While the event will see the debut of the 12.9-inch tablet, Apple does not plan to ship it until November, following late October pre-orders. A September introduction for new iPads is not in line with Apple’s past iPad updates, which have come in October for several years running, but Apple may be introducing the iPad Pro several months early in order to give developers time to create apps for the new device.

Apple also plans to introduce the iPad mini 4, a significant update that brings the 7.9-inch tablet in line with the existing iPad Air 2. It appears the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 may not be updated in 2015, with Apple instead focusing its attention on the iPad Pro and the iPad mini 4 and pushing the iPad Air 2 update back to 2016.

New Macs are also not expected to be included at Apple’s September event, and with the iPads being debuted this month instead of next month, it’s unclear if we will see two fall Apple events in 2015 as we have in past years.

Today’s report warns that while Apple’s plan is to unveil the iPad Pro at the September 9 event, the company could choose to delay its introduction until October.

In addition to a larger 12.9-inch display, the iPad Pro is expected to include an A9 processor, 2GB of RAM, a Force Touch-enabled stylus, and perhaps USB 3.0 ports that will support peripheral devices. The tablet will run iOS 9.1, an update to iOS 9 that will debut in November when the iPad Pro launches.



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Former Apple Music exec trades the tunes for Paris luxury fashion firm

Departed Apple Music senior director Ian Rogers will join French luxury company LVMH — the company which owns iconic luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Bulgari — as its new chief digital officer. Rogers left Apple just two months after the debut of Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station, which he played a key […]

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