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What to expect at Apple’s rumored March 23 event: mini-LED iPad Pro, AirPods 3, more

In a nutshell: Apple is rumored to be holding an event on March 23 where it will show off a number of new products, including the AirTags, updated AirPods, and an iPad Pro featuring mini-LED tech.

It was initially thought that Apple’s first event of the year would take place on March 16, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman insisted the “launch isn’t on the 16.” Reliable Chinese leaker Kang, who revealed several iPhone 12 details before it launched, believes March 23 is the actual date. A claim backed up by Front Page Tech’s Jon Prosser, who cited a “reliable source.”

Apple is expected to reveal several devices during the show, the highlight being a new iPad Pro with mini-LED backlighting that offers higher brightness/contrast and true blacks. The rumor is backed up by a DigiTimes report that claims touchscreen display company GIS is expanding its backend module capacity for new products at its factory in Chengdu, one of which will be the new tablet.

It’s believed that the mini-LED backlighting will only be available in the 12.9-inch model initially, though it could come to the 11-inch iPad Pro eventually. The new iPads are also rumored to feature the A14X SoC, 5G support, and, possibly, thinner bezels.

Elsewhere, the long-rumored AirTags are expected to be unveiled. The trackers will use Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband technology, competing against the Tile Mate and Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag.

We might also see the announcement of the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2. The Apple TV could get an update, and there’s a small chance of a third-generation iPhone SE appearing at the show. We’ll find out for certain in a few weeks.

While it almost certainly won’t be mentioned at the event, we heard rumors this week that a new Arm-based Mac Pro will arrive next year that can be configured with a 64-core M1 successor for over $19,000.

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