Apple will hold an event this month where it could launch a whole range of new products.
The company sent out invitations – bearing the strange messages "Let's take a field trip" – to an event that will happen on 27 March.
A number of things about the invitation are strange and unexpected. It seems that the event will focus on education – and it will take place in Chicago, not Apple's home in Cupertino, California, despite the fact the company specifically built a theatre for these events at its new campus.
Specifically, it will happen at Lane Tech, a school in Chicago that has been active in adopting and using new technology as part of its teaching. That has led to suggestions that the company could not only launch new projects but might concentrate on new initiatives or software focused specifically on education.
Before the announcement of the March event, a whole range of new products has been rumoured for launch this month. They include new MacBooks, iPads and Apple Watch accessories, as well as possible updates to the iPhone.
It's not clear whether the fact Apple is specifically billing the event as being for education will mean that it will not launch some of those products. Many of them – such as the cheaper MacBook Air – could be portrayed as being targeted at the education market, while still going on sale to the general public.
As well as that MacBook, Apple could bring a new version of the iPhone SE to the event. And it's almost certain that the company will introduce new Watch bands ready for spring and summer, which it has done every six months since the watch was first released, even when it hasn't held an event.
The company didn't hold a spring event last year, instead choosing to launch a whole range of new products in June and then September. But the March events happen with some regularity: they happened in 2016, 2015, 2012 and 2011.
The March event has traditionally been the time that Apple introduces new iPads, and the education focus could further suggest that iPad updates are on their way. Apple launched a new version of the iPad last summer, but it's possible that it could update its other lines like the Mini and the Pro.
The company only just announced the date of its Worldwide Developers Conference, which will take place in June. That event is traditionally devoted to software updates, though it has released other products at WWDC too.
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