In the past 6 years, Apple has hosted 4 events in March using this month to announce products such as new iPads and the Apple Watch. This time last year, it used the event to introduce the 9.7” iPad Pro and the iPhone SE.
The only thing different this year is that, at the time of writing, invitations have not been sent out to the world’s media. Typically, invitations are sent out 11-12 days beforehand. The design on the invite hints at what the theme or product of the event is going to be about.
However, in the absence of a formal invitation, there are other signs that we can look out for. If you visit Apple’s UK site today and select an iPad you will see that there are considerable shipping delays on a couple of options.
We couldn’t find any issues with the 9.7” iPad Pro or the iPad mini 4. However, the 12.9” iPad Pro currently has an online delivery date from next Friday 23rd to the 30th March. This is regardless of colour, storage or cellular options. More interestingly, the iPad Air 2, again regardless of specification, was showing a shipping date of 2-3 weeks.
So what does this mean? Well, rumours have been increasing that Apple could be launching a trio of new iPads, including a brand new 10.7” version that will sit alongside revised 12.9” and 9.7” models. It is thought that the 10.7” model will have an edge-to-edge display and no home button. These are features that are widely rumoured to be on the iPhone 8.
There are also rumours of a 128GB iPhone 7 SE and a Product RED iPhone. For every Product RED item sold Apple makes a contribution to the global fund for HIV and AIDS programmes.
So, when will this event take place? Rumours are gathering pace that it could happen as early as next Monday, and this would certainly tie in with the shipping dates that Apple is showing on its site for the 12.9” iPad Pro. Some commentators have suggested that Apple might use the opening of its new Spaceship Headquarters in April to hold its Spring Event. If this was the case, it would explain why invitations have not been seen yet.
Regardless of where and when an event will take place, it does seem as if the iPad line up is about to be shaken up, and if you are thinking about leasing an iPad we would recommend just waiting for a short while to see how the next few weeks pan out. After all, it’s always nice to get a product at the beginning of its life cycle rather than at the end!