iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se to Be Available on March 18 Following March 15 Introduction

Apple is planning to begin selling the upcoming iPad Air 3 and the 4-inch iPhone 5se starting on March 18, reports 9to5Mac. The two devices will be offered in stores and online starting on Friday following their introduction at an event to be held on Tuesday, March 15.

Apple is not expected to accept pre-orders for the two devices, and the short period between announcement and launch suggests Apple expects supplies of the iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se to be plentiful. It is unusual for Apple to offer an iPhone directly after an announcement, but this is the first time the company has launched a standalone non-flagship device.

Launching the new iPhone and iPad models so soon after introduction and not offering pre-orders would be a new strategy for Apple. Apple typically releases new iPhone models one or two weeks following the introduction events and an online pre-order period.

Rumors have suggested the iPhone 5se will be similar in appearance to the iPhone 5s, but with the curved cover glass used in the iPhone 6s. It is also expected to include an upgraded A9 processor and an 8-megapixel camera similar to the camera used in the iPhone 6.

The iPad Air 3 is rumored to take on design elements from the iPad Pro, offering a four-speaker layout and a Smart Connector that would work with iPad Air accessories. Size wise, it is expected to be nearly identical to the iPad Air 2, and i may also include a rear-facing flash.

Apple’s March event is also expected to see the debut of new bands for the Apple Watch, including a Black Milanese Loop that was spotted on the Czech Republic Apple Store website in January. Software currently in testing, including iOS 9.3, watchOS 2.2, OS X 10.11.4, and tvOS 9.2 could be unveiled shortly after the event.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se, iPhone 6c
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Air (Don’t Buy)
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iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se to Be Available on March 18 Following March 15 Introduction

Nearly One-Third of iPhone Users Still Have 4-Inch Screens

The latest data from Mixpanel shows that approximately 32.22% of active iPhone users still have a 4-inch screen. That is the same screen size as the so-called „iPhone 5se“ that Apple is expected to announce at its rumored March 15 event.

Apple has released three iPhone models with 4-inch screens since 2013, including the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s, and some customers still feel these smartphones have the best screen size for pocketability and one-handed usage.

Apple’s newest 4-inch smartphone, the iPhone 5s, represented just under 20 percent of current iPhones in use, trailed by the iPhone 5 at 7.53 percent and the plastic-backed iPhone 5c at 5.66 percent. The numbers fluctuate slightly in real time.

In the company’s latest earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that 60 percent of older-generation iPhone users have yet to upgrade to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus.

Right now, customers that want a 4-inch iPhone have to settle for the over two-year-old iPhone 5s’s outdated tech specs, and the smartphone also lacks many new features such as Apple Pay, 3D Touch, and Live Photos.

For that reason, the „iPhone 5se“ with a rumored 4-inch screen, Apple’s newest A9 chip, Live Photos, and purported price of around $500 may prove to be a more popular option among prospective iPhone buyers.
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Nearly One-Third of iPhone Users Still Have 4-Inch Screens

Zagg Aims to Expand Into Battery Cases With Mophie Acquisition

Accessory maker Zagg, known for its InvisibleShield screen protectors and other Apple-related accessories, today announced an acquisition of mophie, a company that makes external battery packs and battery cases for Apple’s iOS devices.

According to a press release from Zagg, its acquisition of mophie will allow it to be the market share leader when it comes to battery cases, external batteries, screen protection, and tablet keyboards. Zagg has paid $100 million at deal closing for mophie, with a caveat that additional money may be paid out based on earnings over a 12 month period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

„This strategic combination of two industry innovators with complementary product, brand and distribution platforms will enable us to deliver increased value for our customers and shareholders,“ said Randy Hales, President and Chief Executive Officer of ZAGG. „We see numerous opportunities to drive revenue growth and increase profitability by leveraging the strengths of both organizations to strengthen product development, improve brand presence, and expand distribution.“

Going forward, Zagg will keep the mophie brand intact, continuing to sell mophie products under the mophie brand name. Zagg says mophie will retain its identity, messaging, and strategy, but cross-branded protects, like a Zagg tablet keyboard powered by a mophie battery, are possible in the future.

Tags: Mophie, Zagg
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Zagg Aims to Expand Into Battery Cases With Mophie Acquisition

Apple will unveil 4-inch ‘iPhone 5se’ in March

Speculation regarding a new 4-inch iPhone coming out of Cupertino has run rampant the past few months with rumors claiming the device will look like an tiny iPhone 6, but a new report claims the device will actually look more like a special edition iPhone 5s. Apple plans to upgrade the existing iPhone 5s that […]

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


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Apple will unveil 4-inch ‘iPhone 5se’ in March

Apple Watch 2 Not Likely to See March Debut

A December rumor pointed towards a possible March 2016 event to unveil a next-generation Apple Watch, but information shared today by TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino suggests a redesigned second-generation Apple Watch will not be coming so early in the year. That conflicts with some recent rumors suggesting trial production on the Apple Watch 2 is set to begin soon.

Citing several sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Panzarino says that while new design partnerships and accessories are a possibility for March, a second-generation Apple Watch is not expected. There is, however, a potential March event in the works, but it is not clear what would be launched at that time. New Macs and the rumored 4-inch iPhone 6c are possibilities.

Several things that I’ve heard (from several sources) indicate to me that we won’t see a new hardware model of the Apple Watch in March. Design partnerships, accessories, that kind of thing maybe but not a „Watch 2.0“ with a bunch of new hardware features like a camera. I could be wrong, of course, but I’ve heard enough to put it out there.

To further back up his claims, Panzarino says supply chain checks have not indicated that production on a second-generation Apple Watch has begun and there’s been no „major action“ on the software development side that would point towards the possibility of a newly redesigned Apple Watch debuting in the next few months.

As with anything related to Apple hardware announcements, the tea leaves are hard to read and the companies plans can change (the advantage of never publicly announcing hardware). But as of now, March seems like it’s a bit too early to count on Watch 2.0.

The Apple Watch, introduced in April of 2015, is a new product category for Apple so its upgrade cycle is difficult to determine. With the iPhone, Apple introduces updates on a yearly basis, but if no second-generation Apple Watch comes out in March, it is not clear when a new version will debut. As Panzarino says, an update alongside the iPhone 7 in September is a possibility, putting the Apple Watch on an 18-month upgrade cycle.

As further evidence that an Apple Watch 2 might not come until later in 2016, we have not seen any concrete rumors about features that might included in a second-generation device and there have been no schematics or part leaks that we might expect to see just a few months ahead of the launch of an updated device.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
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Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Apple Watch 2 Not Likely to See March Debut

Upcoming ‘Nerds’ Broadway Musical Chronicles Rivalry Between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

An upcoming musical comedy that highlights the rivalry between Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is set to debut on Broadway on March 31, 2016. Called Nerds, the musical will chronicle the rise of Jobs and Gates and the competition between their two companies.

According to Variety, the musical will feature „an array of tech“ like onstage holograms, projection mapping, and an interactive in-show app that lets audience members interact with one another and help choose the show’s ending each night.

„We’re thrilled to add a jolt of comedy to this already astounding theater season, with this hilarious tale of the Founding Fathers of Tech, from a creative team stacked with new voices,“ said producer Carl Levin. „While fine-tuning and re-coding the show for this exciting launch, we’ve also been exploring innovative ways to enhance the ‘user experience’ inside the theater, for a uniquely entertaining event – compatible for Broadway audiences of all generations.“

The cast for Nerds has not yet been announced, but the screenplay was written by Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner, both of whom previously wrote for cartoon series Robot Chicken. Casey Hushion directs, while music was written by Hal Goldberg.

Previews for the show start on March 31, 2016, and its official opening date is April 21, 2016. Tickets are available from the Nerds website with prices that start at $39.

Tags: Steve Jobs, Nerds, Bill Gates
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Upcoming ‘Nerds’ Broadway Musical Chronicles Rivalry Between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

All the big Apple analysts are predicting iPhone sales decline

Apple has never reported a decline in iPhone sales. That may be about to change, however, with seven top Apple analysts all predicting that the company is either experiencing — or on the verge of experiencing — a drop in the number of iPhones being bought. The latest is Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has lowered his […]

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


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All the big Apple analysts are predicting iPhone sales decline

Apple Offers ‘Proxy Access’, Making it Easier for Shareholders to Nominate Board of Directors

In a recent securities filing, Apple announced that it plans to offer „proxy access“, which allows longtime shareholders or a group of shareholders to nominate a member for its board of directors, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In a securities filing, Apple said its board of directors had adopted amended bylaws Monday that allow a shareholder, or a group of up to 20 shareholders, holding 3% of its shares continuously for three years to include board nominees in the company’s annual proxy statement.

The new bylaws allow shareholders to nominate up to 20 percent of Apple’s board of directors. Since Apple has 8 directors, shareholders would be allowed to nominate one director. Proxy access is a recent push by activist investors that seek to make changes on company boards, giving shareholders greater influence on company strategy and the ability to oust directors. Other prominent companies to adopt proxy access include McDonald’s, Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola.

In March at Apple’s most recent annual meeting, a shareholder proposal that asked the Cupertino company to adopt proxy access garnered 39 percent support.
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Apple Offers ‘Proxy Access’, Making it Easier for Shareholders to Nominate Board of Directors