enhanced-mid-24221-1457629840-1Yesterday Apple sent out its official invite, confirming the much speculated March 21st media event.

Always a source of subtle hints and ripe for dissection, this year’s invite features the phrase “Let us loop you in.

The event will be held at Apple’s Cupertino California campus at 1pm EST (10am PST) on Monday, March 21st, which just so happens to be one day before Apple’s big courtroom hearing to decide if Apple will be forced to help the US Government hack the iPhone used in last December’s brutal San Bernardino terrorist attack. No doubt Apple will use the event to garner public support for their “maintaining and securing privacy” position.

A Smaller iPhone…

If the rumors hold, then we can also expect the event to cover the new 4-inch iPhone SE, which will replace the aging iPhone 5S with updated specs, at the same time keeping that same look and feel, but offering space grey, silver, gold, and rose gold color options (check out those colors on the invite). This is good news for anyone who thinks Apple’s recently up-sized iPhone offerings are just too big.

A Smaller iPad Pro…

Also on the docket will be the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Yet another rebranding of the standard iPad, this will replace/end the iPad Air line and look very much like the iPad Pro, only with the smaller 9.7″ screen of the standard iPad. This means the 9.7″ iPad Pro will adopt the four speaker design as well as the Smart Connector (for the Apple keyboard) and likely add support for the Apple Pencil. I expect the pricing to stay in line with the current iPad offerings, hopefully we’ll see some larger space capacities on this one as well.

More watch bands…

Finally as for the “Loop” portion of the invite, this likely refers to Apple Watch bands and some new strategic partnerships with luxury brands that Apple will be announcing at the event.

I expect that, as usual, the media event will be available for live streaming via an Apple TV, Mac, or iOS device and available from Apple’s website afterwards.

UPDATE: The event is view-able via your AppleTV or via the Safari browser on a Mac or iOS device. Visit http://www.apple.com/apple-events/march-2016/ for more details.