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March 31 Event – iPhone 9 announcement expected soon

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There are a couple of big Apple events each year you can set your watch to. (Well, set your calendar to, at least.) Every September sees the annual reveal of new iPhones, while every June sees the unveiling of new operating systems at WWDC.

But over the last few years, Apple has gotten into the habit of releasing new products outside of those months, from iPads and Macs in October to new services in March. Not quite often enough to take those events for granted, but often enough for us to make some educated guesses about the company’s upcoming plans.

That’s exactly what we’re seeing analysts try at the moment. Rumors are strongly suggesting Apple will host a media event at the end of next month (likely March 31) to announce the long-awaited successor to 2015’s iPhone SE, expected to be dubbed iPhone 9.

If that turns out to be true, the iPhone 9 launch would be likely to fall on April 3 – or possibly April 10 if Apple expects the handset to be popular enough to warrant a week of preorders.

If you’ve not heard, the iPhone 9 is rumored to launch at just $399, giving Apple a much-needed boost in the lower end of the smartphone market. It’s expected to be based on the physical design of the iPhone 8, with updated specs based on components from yesteryear to cut down on costs.

The result could be the iPhone that budget-conscious or size-conscious users have been waiting for. (More on that here.)

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suspects there may be more to reveal in March than the iPhone 9. It’s possible we’ll also see an updated MacBook range alongside some new accessories; could this be the moment Apple releases a wireless charging mat, premium over-ear headphones, or a Bluetooth tracker?

Though nothing is set in stone until Apple makes a formal announcement, this is one rumor we’re pretty confident about. If you’re due to upgrade an old iPhone, we’d recommend hanging on a few more weeks to see what Apple has in store for us.