A number of credible leaks and rumors suggest that Apple would hold a special event on March 15 to show off its new iPad Air 3 and a 4-inch smartphone likely to be called iPhone 5se. A new report from Bloomberg says both the devices are going to launch with top-notch hardware. As investors have battered Apple’s stock in recent weeks, the Cupertino company has let Bloomberg inside its chip labs in a rare instance.
iPad Air 3 to be a smaller version of iPad Pro
In a lengthy cover story profiling of Apple’s SVP of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji who oversees the company’s chip development, Bloomberg said the iPad Air 3 will run the same powerful processor that powers the iPad Pro. The report says the iPad Air 3 will feature the A9X processor. The A9X is a dual-core CPU with a 12-cluster GPU. Its graphics power is twice as much as the base A9 processor found in the iPhone 6S line.
Besides the A9X processor, the iPad Air 3 is rumored to have 4GB RAM, a 4K display and extended battery. Other expected features in the new iPad Air include four-speaker audio, a Smart Connector, and support for Apple Pencil. It will be the first iPad to have a rear LED flash for improved image quality in low-light conditions. The iPad Air 3 is expected to take several design cues from the iPad Pro.
iPhone 5se to be more powerful than iPhone 6?
Bloomberg says the 4-inch iPhone 5se will run the same A9 processor that powers the flagship iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. If the report is accurate, the device will be more powerful than the current mid-range iPhone 6, which packs an A8 processor with 1GB RAM. The A9 processor is 50% faster than the A8 at multicore operations. The iPhone 5se will reportedly resemble the iPhone 5S, but with a slightly curved edges and a few major upgrades.
The 4-inch iPhone is rumored to feature NFC for Apple Pay, Live Photos, 8MP iSight main camera, 5MP front snapper, and always-on Siri feature. However, it is unlikely to feature the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display technology. The device is expected to go on sale on March 18. RBC Capital Markets estimates that the iPhone 5se could add $5.5 billion to Apple’s revenue this year.