As it happened: Apple 21 March iPhone SE & iPad Pro 9.7in launch

We round up the news from the last event at Apple's Infinite Loop campus

Apple has launched a new 4in iPhone and new 9.7in iPad Pro, as well as the general availability of iOS 9.3, new Apple Watch bands and new features for Apple TV.

Here we round up the key points of each of the announcements made, for the last time, at the Town Hall theatre at its Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE was the most widely rumoured device to appear at the 21 March event, and Apple didn't disappoint.

The 4in device was the first hardware announcement of the night and is, aesthetically, quite similar to the iPhone 5s that it replaces, except it is available in rose gold and gold as well as silver and "space gray". It retains the 5s' circular volume buttons and appeared to have roughly the same dimensions.

But it's what's on the inside that's interesting. The device has many of the same specifications as its larger siblings, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, including the flagship Live Photos feature, A9 chip, 12-egapixel camera, and NFC for Apple Pay.

The iPhone SE is available to pre-order from 24 March. More details of the new iPhone's specs, features, price and availability can be read here.

iPad Pro

No, you're not experiencing dj vu, Apple really did announce the iPad Pro again this evening - only this time, it's a 9.7in screen rather than the 12.9in behemoth that launched last year.

Other than the size difference, there's not a lot to say about the new iPad Pro: it's the same as the original, but smaller. The one notable exception is the True Tone display. This means the screen of the iPad Pro 9.7in will adapt not just to the brightness of ambient light, but to its warmth too, behaving more like objects such as paper, which reflect light, and reducing eye strain.

It will also work with Night Shift, the new feature in iOS 9 that adjusts the amount of blue light emitted by the device's screen after sundown. Exposure to blue light from the screens of electronic devices has been blamed for causing sleep disruption, although the evidence for this is far from conclusive.

As for the fate of the long-rumoured iPad Air 3, your guess is as good as ours. The iPad Air 2 remains on the market for the time being, so the 9.7in iPad Pro isn't a replacement for that, but with a new iPad just announced it seems that this may be the end of the line for the Air range.

New Apple Watch straps

As predicted, new straps for the Apple Watch made an appearance at the event on 21 March. As well as additions to the existing Sport, leather and Milanese Loop band ranges, Apple also introduced a new Woven Nylon range. While strictly speaking nylon is a plastic, this range is effectively the fabric band option without being made of natural textiles.

iOS 9.3 general release

After months of beta testing, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 9.3, is now generally available for all users with a compatible device to download. More information on iOS 9.3 is available here.

Apple TV tvOS

Having once been the poor relation of the Apple device family, Cook once again lavished some attention on Apple TV, introducing an updated tvOS for the set top box.

The latest version of the operating system, tvOS 9.2, makes Siri the default mode for text input, including dictating sign-in credentials, introduces folders for grouping apps - handy if you have a long list - and provides better input control for the Apple TV remote, so it is less likely to accidentally register accidental inputs as commands.

Apple vs FBI

Apple's event comes just one day before the company's mammoth legal showdown with the FBI, and CEO Tim Cook didn't let the opportunity pass him by to make a comment about the case.

Opening the event on the topic, Cook said Apple has "a responsibility" to oppose the US government, adding that the company's executives "owe it to our customers, and ... to our country" to fight for encryption.

The end of 1 Infinite Loop

This, Tim Cook confirmed, is the last event to be held at Apple's Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. The company is building a new headquarters in San Jose, which will be completed and ready to move into in 2017. You can read more about the new building and see some amazing drone footage of the site at our sister site, Alphr.

Apple 21 March event Live Blog: as it happened

Featured Resources

Unleashing the power of AI initiatives with the right infrastructure

What key infrastructure requirements are needed to implement AI effectively?

Download now

Achieve today. Plan tomorrow. Making the hybrid multi-cloud journey

A Veritas webinar on implementing a hybrid multi-cloud strategy

Download now

A buyer’s guide for cloud-based phone solutions

Finding the right phone system for your modern business

Download now

The workers' experience report

How technology can spark motivation, enhance productivity and strengthen security

Download now

Recommended

Apple MacBook Pro 13in (Apple M1, 2020) review: Almost unbelievably good
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 13in (Apple M1, 2020) review: Almost unbelievably good

6 Jan 2021
Apple MacBook Air (Apple M1, 2020) review: The world’s best ultraportable
Laptops

Apple MacBook Air (Apple M1, 2020) review: The world’s best ultraportable

28 Dec 2020
Apple iOS 14.3 launch brings privacy labels for all apps
privacy

Apple iOS 14.3 launch brings privacy labels for all apps

15 Dec 2020
Apple might ditch Qualcomm for in-house modems
Mobile

Apple might ditch Qualcomm for in-house modems

11 Dec 2020

Most Popular

WhatsApp could face €50 million GDPR fine
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

WhatsApp could face €50 million GDPR fine

25 Jan 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

21 Jan 2021
What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?
web hosting

What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?

12 Jan 2021