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Apple reportedly preparing low-cost iPhone, iPad for March launch

iPhone SE
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Apple could launch new products as soon as March 8, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The report says that Apple is preparing to announce a new low-cost 5G iPhone and iPad at the event and potentially a new Mac.

The launch would be Apple’s first since October 2021, when it revealed new MacBook Pro laptops. It’s expected to be a virtual livestream launch, according to Bloomberg. Apple has held virtual events since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Apple currently offers a low-cost iPhone called the iPhone SE, which was introduced in the spring of 2020, and retails for $399. It’s the most recent iPhone model with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The updated model could have the same design but a faster processor and 5G support, according to the report.

The new iPad is expected to be an updated version of the iPad Air, according to the report. That device was last updated in October 2020 and currently retails for $599.

Apple iPad business was the only major product line to report declining sales during the December quarter. Apple said that slowing sales of a $329 iPad targeted at schools and volume purchasers was the primary reason for the business’s decline.

Apple’s low-cost device launches are less important to the company than its traditional fall launches, which reveal pricier and more profitable high-end iPhone models ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Apple could time the launch event with the official release of iOS 15.4, the latest version of the iPhone software.

IOS 15.4 is currently in beta testing. It’s expected to include several new features, including the ability to use facial recognition to unlock the device while wearing a mask, and new emoji.

An Apple spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more on Bloomberg.

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