Apple expected to unveil new, smaller iPhone model March 21

Apple has announced its next product launch event will be on March 21. Screenshot/Apple

SAN FRANCISCO – Apple has announced its next product launch event will be on March 21.

The tech giant provided no details, in keeping with its usual effort to build anticipation before it announces new products. An invitation sent to reporters said only “Let us loop you in.” Apple’s headquarters is located on Infinite Loop Road in Cupertino, California.

Analysts and tech blogs are anticipating a new, 4-inch iPhone, a smaller iPad Pro and new bands for the Apple Watch. A 4-inch iPhone would be a step down from the larger-size models that Apple has introduced in recent years, but analysts say it may appeal to consumers who want a lower-priced phone or who find the bigger models unwieldy.

The event also falls just one day before representatives for the company are set to appear in a district court in California to oppose the FBI’s order to force it to hack an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple has filed an official order asking a federal magistrate to reverse the ruling, accusing the federal government of seeking “dangerous power” through the courts and of trampling on its constitutional rights.

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Which means the timing of this event could set the stage for some interesting remarks on the case from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple vs. FBI: What happens next?

March 15: Once the government has issued its final response, Apple will have a chance to reply by this date.

March 22: Lawyers representing both Apple and the FBI will appear in a district court in California. Each side will argue their case to the magistrate judge, who is expected to hand down her ruling shortly after. The losing party will have the option to appeal the ruling.

– With files from Global News tech reporter Nicole Bogart

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