iPhone SE event as it happened: Apple releases 9.7in iPad Pro, 4in phone – and new Apple Watch straps

Apple‘s March event is now finished. So what did we see? As we expected, Tim Cook and co announced a 4-inch iPhone SE, a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a slew of software updates. Cook also mentioned Apple’s commitment to sustainability and dropped in the fact that Apple’s new UFO campus will be host to the next set of Apple’s spring product announcements in March next year. 

iPhone SE event as it happened: Apple releases 9.7in iPad Pro, 4in phone - and new Apple Watch straps

Were the predictions correct? Mostly. The two most anticipated products – iPhone SE and the smaller iPad – showed up, and we also got to see more Wath bands and a rather herty price cut. However, we still haven’t seen movement from Apple’s desktop range, so we should see a few big changes for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line come this September. 

Apple’s “In the Loop” 21 March event as it happened:

6:00pm – iPad Pro is available from 31 March

Apple iPad Pro 9.7 march 31 release date

5:58pm – Prices start at $599 for 32GB $749 for 128GB and $899 for 256GB – the largest storage space available in any iOS device.

Apple iPad Pro 9.7 price

5:55pm – The new iPad Pro also contains the same 12MP iSight camera found on the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s.

Apple iPad Pro 9.7 camera

5:50pm – The iPad Pro 9.7-inch still contains a A9x processor and, just like its bigget sibling, contains 4 speakers – or “Pro Sound” as they call it.

5:47pm – The new iPad Pro still has a “pro” display. Essentially its the same as the pro-screen but in a small screen. It’s display is 40% less reflective than an Air 2, and has 25% better colour saturation than an Air 3. It also contains a “True tone display” which has, apparently, never been seen on a tablet before. Essentially, the screen’s colour temperature adjusts to fit within its surrounding naturally.

Apple iPad Pro 9.7

5:45pm – Apple has just announced a smaller, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, as everyone expected.

5:42pm – iOS 9.3 is rolling out to iPhone soon, with Apple talking about its new apps and updated features that are carrying across from the beta.

5:40pm – iPhone SE Will be abailable in the UK from 31 March with pre-orders opening March 24

Apple iPhone SE pre-order

5:38pm – Price comes in at $399 (£280) for base, $499 (£350) for 64GB version and can be available for free on 2-year contracts.

5:35pm – The iPhone SE has the samer 12MP iSight camera found in the iPhone 6s, but in a smaller frame. Essentially, you can have the joy of an iPhone 6s but in a smaller frame.

5:33pm – Apple has now announced the iPhone SE. It comes in Rose Gold – as well as the standard finishes of the iPhone 6. It looks largely like an iPhone 5s, but with some design features of the 6s. It also comes packed with an A9 chip – making it as powerful as the iPhone 6s.

Apple iPhone SE Live event SE colour line up

5:32pm – Apple is now talking about the new 4-inch iPhone. No name yet, but it’ll be the iPhone SE.

Apple iPhone SE Live event SE reveal

5:30pm – Apple TV tvOS beta is now live as a full release. It’s coming as a new free release.

5:27pm – Tim Cook is now talking about Apple TV, apparently there are now 5,000 Apple TV apps to download. We’re expecting a price drop announcement…

5:25pm – Tim Cook has revealed that the Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch on the market. As part of this, he also announced Woven Fabric straps, along with new colours in Sport bands. He also announced a price drop of Apple Watch to just $299 (£210).


5:20pm – Apple has just announced CareKit – a framework to build apps that let people take an active role in their own care or other’s care needs. The first app launching as part of CareKit is for Parkinson’s Disease.

Apple live event carekit

5:17pm – We’re now watching a video about what ResearchKit is doing for the US healthcare industry namely it’s positive impact on identifying autism in children at a young age.

Apple ResearchKit Autism

5:16pm – Apple is now talking about ResearchKit and it’s health application suite.

5:14pm – Jackson has announced a new recycling promotion that lets Apple device owners hand in their old devices back into Apple for free.

5:12pm – Liam is a robot that helps deconstruct the iPhone into its component parts and allows them to be reused or recycled.

Apple Liam

5:10pm – Lisa Jackson is still talking about Apple’s environmental impact and is now speaking on reuse and recycle programmes it’s working with. Apple has now bright about a new R&D project known as “Liam”.

5:07pm – In 2014 Apple had a goal to hit 100% renwablity. Two years on from that goal, worldwide 93% of Apple’s centres are powered by renewables. It’s reavhed 100% renwable energy usage in the US, China, UK, and 21 other countries around the world.

5:05pm – Time to get onto the real meat of the show and Tim has invited Lisa Jackson up to talk about Apple’s goals for environmental awareness

5:02pm – Tim Cook states there are now more than 1 billion Apple devices around the world and is bringing up the iPhone security issue with the FBI

5:00pm – Apple’s event has just started and we’re treated to a timeline flashback before Tim Cook is on stage to look back on Apple’s 40th Birthday.

There’s not long left until Apple’s “Let us loop you in” conference kicks off in San Francisco this evening. While we’ll have up to the minute coverage of Apple’s event here for you to read (so keep refreshing the page once 5pm GMT hits), the team is also going to be active on Twitter spouting our opinions of what Apple has up its sleeve.

Rumours suggest that Apple could unveil a whole host of new gadgets. At this year’s Easter event we expect to see:

  • A 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • A 4-inch iPhone SE
  • Refreshed Skylake MacBook range
  • Updated iMac range

If you’d like to watch the event yourself, instead of reading our fantastic coverage, you can do so over at the Apple Events page. Be warned, you’ll need to be running a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X 10.8.5 or later; a Windows 10 PC with Microsoft Edge, or using an iPhone, iPad or iPod with iOS 7 or higher. You can also catch it on an Apple TV with software 6.2 or the 2015 Apple TV.

For extra analysis, be sure to visit Twitter and follow our tech reporters working today: that’s @ianbetteridge, @davidcourt86, @jon1bray, @thomas_mac, @Starfox118, @Khurtizz and me – @alan_p_martin.apple-event-invite-iphone-se

Image: Mike Deerkoski, used under Creative Commons

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