Apple slates March 21 event, with 4-in. iPhone likely on the stage

Revenue move to boost sales during traditionally slower stretch

Apple will host a press event on its California campus March 21, perhaps to unveil new iPads and possibly a long-rumored smaller 4-in. iPhone, according to reports.

Invitations went out Thursday for the presentation, which will start at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) in a small venue at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters.

Apple will, as has been its habit, live-stream the event from its website.

The company's spring events have typically involved new iPad tablets, and recent rumors have focused on a 9.7-in. iPad update from the iPad Air (Amazon prices) that may be aligned with the larger 12.9-in. tablet (Amazon price) as a second model in the "Pro" line.

Apple last refreshed the 9.7-in. tablet in October 2014, when it introduced the iPad Air 2 (Amazon prices).

Also possibly on the March 21 docket: a smaller 4-in. iPhone, perhaps labeled with the "SE" nameplate, a moniker that has some history with Apple. In 1987, nearly two decades before the company became known for the iPhone, it released the Macintosh SE, a personal computer that was a revamp of the 1986 Macintosh Plus, which boasted an enclosure similar but was not identical to the original 1984 Macintosh.

Speculation about a 4-in. iPhone has circulated since 2014, when Apple abandoned that form factor and upsized the display in its then-new iPhone 6 (and current 6s) to 4.7-in. Apple has continued to sell smaller models, however, by retaining older iPhones in its catalog. For instance, Apple still sells 2013's iPhone 5S, which sports a 4-in. display.

Launching a new iPhone in the spring would be a departure for Apple, which has debuted updated hardware in September since 2011's iPhone 4S. "The off cycle has become more and more critical to Apple," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech. "They want to spread sales throughout the year."

Apple has had a problem maintaining sales after the initial boom of a new product launch, with the second and third quarters historically slumping from the fourth and first quarters, during which sales of the latest flagship dominate revenue.

By introducing a new model in March, Apple may be able to increase revenue during a historically down time.

A smaller device would also show that Apple has recognized that its larger phones are not covering enough of the potential market. "There are people out there who want smaller devices," asserted Milanesi.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applemobile phonesiPhone

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?