Should we be excited for next week’s Apple keynote? [Friday Night Fights]

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Our resident Apple fanboy can't wait!
Our resident Apple fanboy can't wait!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook will take to the stage to host another Apple keynote on Monday, but who cares?

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2It seems only a small percentage of Apple fans are interested in a 4-inch iPhone, and although the rumored iPad upgrade will be a big one, interest in tablets is falling like Jennifer Lawrence at big events. So that leaves… Apple Watch straps? Please!

Without a major unveiling, is Monday’s keynote really worth getting excited for? Or will it be another disappointment, with interest quickly turning to Eddy Cue’s colorful shirts and Craig Federighi’s impeccable hair instead?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we battle it out over those very questions!

Alleged iPad Air 3 case shows off quad speakers and Smart Connector

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Alleged-iPad-Air-3-case2
This case may offer some big clues about Apple's next tablet.
Photo: Steve Hemmerstoffer

If you’ve been lusting over the feature set of Apple’s iPad Pro, but would rather stick to the 9.7-inch form factor of the smaller-size iPad Air, today could be your lucky day.

That’s because new photos of an alleged iPad Air 3 case (complete with dummy device) appear to show that Apple’s next tablet will be a scaled-down version of the iPad Pro — complete with the same quad speaker setup as its big brother, along with the triple dot Smart Connector that the iPad Pro uses to connect to its Smart Keyboard attachment.

iPad Air 3 will pack the same powerful processor as iPad Pro

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2017 12.9-inch iPad Pro
The iPad Pro's best features are coming to iPad Air 3.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

Apple isn’t skimping on processing power when it comes to the iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se that are expected to be revealed next month.

Even though the new 4-inch iPhone is being aimed as a mid-range smartphone, Apple reportedly plans to include the same A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s, while the iPad Air 3 will pack the A9X processor found in the iPad Pro.

iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se likely to go on sale March 18th

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Don't call it the '5se'.
The iPhone 5se won't be available for pre-order.
Photo: Martin Hajek

Once Apple finally unveils its new iPad and 4-inch iPhone, it won’t take long before Apple fans are able to get their fingers all over the two new iOS devices.

Both the iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 will be available the same week they are introduced to the public, according to a new report that claims Apple Stores will have the new devices in stock by March 18th, but there won’t be any pre-orders.

Apple’s rumored March event: Catch our hardware expectations on The CultCast

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New Apple hardware in March?  Party time!
New Apple hardware in March? Party time!
Photo: Kickboxer, Lionsgate

This week: New hardware, incoming! We’ll tell you our hardware expectations for Apple’s rumored March 2016 event, and there’s a lot to discuss. Plus: Why the next iPad Air could be the best one yet; iPhone 7 may have far fewer features than expected; and, is Apple making a move into virtual reality?

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to build a website that looks beautiful on any device that visits at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off.

Apple Watch may get an ‘S’ upgrade in March

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Get your Apple Watch ready for the new iPhone.
Get your Apple Watch ready for the new iPhone.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPhone might not be the only device getting an incremental upgrade at Apple’s next keynote, which is rumored to take place March 15.

In a note to investors this morning, Apple analyst Gene Munster claims Apple Watch may get a slight hardware upgrade this spring that will include a better processor, improved battery life and other new internal components.

Apple plans March 15 event for iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se unveiling

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iPad Air 3 will pick up some tricks from the iPad Pro.
iPad Air 3 will pick up some tricks from the iPad Pro.
Photo: Apple

The grand unveiling of Apple’s newest iPad and iPhone is reportedly just over a month away.

Although the iPhone-maker usually waits until fall to reveal its latest and greatest iOS devices, a new report claims Apple has set its sights on March 15 as the date for its first big keynote of 2016.

Schematic reveals iPad Air 3 will be slightly thicker than iPad Air 2

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iPad Air 3 will be the smartest iPad yet.
iPad Air 3 will be the smartest iPad yet.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPad Air 3 is poised to be the biggest upgrade the iPad lineup has ever seen, but all those new features might come with a price of extra thickness.

An alleged schematic of the iPad Air 3 has been leaked that shows the upcoming device’s exact dimensions. The schematic also appears to confirm that the iPad Air 3 will use the Smart Connector found on the iPad Pro.

Check it out:

iPad Air 3 case on Alibaba hints at Smart Connector

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If this picture is accurate, the iPad Air 3 could come with a Smart Connector.
If this picture is accurate, the iPad Air 3 could come with a Smart Connector.
Photo: Shenzhen Hong Technology Co./Alibaba

It’s a product with some holes in it and it’s the holes that could be of interest to Apple fans excited about the upcoming iPad Air 3.

A photo allegedly showing an Air 3 case has cutouts for a Smart Connector and four speakers. The Japanese Apple blog Macotakara raised the possibility of a beefed up iPad after seeing a case available for pre-order on Alibaba.