The Apple Store waves goodbye to the iPad Air 2, and says hello to a cheaper iPad, more Apple Watch bands and a red iPhone 7

UpdateThe Apple store is back online and it appears the changes focus on a cheaper iPad, Apple Watch bands and a bright red iPhone 7.

The Apple Store waves goodbye to the iPad Air 2, and says hello to a cheaper iPad, more Apple Watch bands and a red iPhone 7

The iPad Air 2 has been dropped and replaced with a cheaper 9.7in device known only as “the iPad.” It starts at £339 – a slight reduction of the iPad Air 2, which launched at £349, but gets a modest upgrade going from an A8X chip to the newer A9. 

Then there’s a limited edition bright red iPhone 7, to mark a decade of Apple’s working relationship with the AIDS charity (RED). It’ll go on sale from 24 March, and starts at £699 for the iPhone 7 and £819 for the iPhone 7 Plus – that’s more expensive than current models, but it starts at a 128GB capacity. You can see how it looks in the header image above.

Finally, there are new Apple Watch bands for the spring season. These go all the way from a range of woven nylon and sports bands priced at £49 all the way up to newHermès Fauve Barenia Leather Double Buckle Cuff, which goes for an eye-watering £699

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When Apple changes the contents of its online shop, the whole site goes down for a limited time. That process started this morning at 7am, and with no press events taking place, we’re left speculating at what could literally be in store for us when it returns.

It’s probably unwise to be holding your breath for anything major, thanks to the aforementioned absence of a press event. Instead, it’s most likely to be a minor refresh of specifications on existing products rather than brand-new ones. To that end, the rumoured 10.5in iPad Pro is unlikely to be about to make its debut, and I would offer you very long odds on this being a brand-new iPhone, MacBook or iPad Air 3.apple_store_being_updated

So what updates should we expect? Well, the iPad Pro is still likely to be the main beneficiaries with minor specification bumps. There’s also talk of the iPhone SE getting a 128GB version, a red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, alongside new Apple Watch bands. Of course, it’s entirely possible it’s something different altogether – and there’s even the chance that this really is just “scheduled maintenance”, but the placeholder screen that reads “We’ve got something special in store for you,” would suggest not. That or Tim Cook is being a big old tease.

Either way, we should find out in a few hours when the scheduled maintenance lifts. We’ll update this piece when we find out exactly what that special something Apple has in store for us is. Credit cards at the ready, Apple fans.

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