AAPL stock briefly spiked in what may have been yet another stop hunt moments ago, following a MacRumors report that Apple is expected to announce new products later this month, most likely between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24, citing “reputable” supply chain analysts.
The analysts did not disclose which products it expects Apple to announce, but rumors have suggested at least a trio of new iPad Pro models will be unveiled as early as this month, including a new 10.5-inch model with slimmer bezels and updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions.
The sources expecting an iPad refresh include, among others, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, and Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The latter of the three also expects a new 7.9-inch model that would supplant the iPad mini 4, but others have denied or yet to mention that particular claim.
Last month, Japanese blog Mac Otakara said Apple will host a March event where it will debut its new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage, and new Apple Watch bands. The report also claimed Apple will add a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which could be part of (PRODUCT)RED.
The all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to have slimmer bezels, and possibly no Home button, allowing it to have the same overall footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. This design could foreshadow the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone. The tablet is also rumored to have a higher-resolution display and quad microphones.
The updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.
On the other hand, Apple has yet to invite the media to an event this month, and those invites would be a far shoter notice than usual if Tim Cook is indeed planning to announce new products this way as early as next week. In each of the past two years, Apple invited the media to its March event roughly 11-12 days beforehand, including February 26 invites for a March 9 event in 2015 and March 10 invites for a March 21 event last year, MacRumor notes.
Which, according to the website, means that there are three plausible scenarios if new products are in the cards:
- Apple is planning a March event, and invites will go out soon;
- Apple is planning a Spring event, but not this month; or
- Apple will share its announcements through a press release as it did when it dropped the price of the fourth-generation iPad to $399 in March 2014.
Another rumor suggested Apple could be planning an event on April 4, but this date was based on Personal Pickup for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is generally not a reliable indicator of an event. The in-store pickup date for 12.9-inch iPad Pro models is a rolling target, as evidenced by the April 10 date now shown.
For now, there is no indication that a new iPhone is coming any time soon, which may be the reason why after the initial spike higher, AAPL stock has since given up the kneejerk gains.