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What to expect from Apple's March 9 'Spring Forward' event (+video)

Apple is set to make some big announcements at a March 9 event, likely about the Apple Watch. But what else could the tech behemoth have in store?

A change in seasons means a change in tech, at least over at Apple.

The tech giant sent out invitations to an event scheduled for March 9, inviting guests to “spring forward” at a “special event.” What has Apple got up its sleeve this season? Experts are guessing details on the Apple Watch, a slimmed MacBook Air, and perhaps even an unexpected iPad announcement.

As per usual, Apple gave away very little with its invitation – only the above message and an Apple logo with a multi-colored floral design – but the rumors are flying.

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Let’s start with the most likely. Apple is set to drop its Apple Watch in April, so this event would be a probable time for chief executive Tim Cook to unveil pricing and launch date. Already, Mr. Cook has mentioned the sport version of the watch will start at $350, but models with extra functions and more luxurious details (gold plating a la iPhone 5S anyone?) have yet to be revealed. Some analysts also believe Apple could announce third party apps for the Watch, spurring further app development for the tech. 

It is very likely Apple is planning another big announcement, as the event is set to last two hours. But what will it be? From here, the predictions are murkier. Though the MacBook Air has been performing quite well despite few tweaks since its release, some say it is about to get even slimmer, with reduced bezels (the space on the side of the screen and keyboard) and only one USB slot. Potentially, it could also get a Retina screen. Another big rumor is that Apple is set to unveil iTunes streaming, the product of its Beats Music acquisition. This would likely be a paid music service, similar to Spotify and Pandora, that would make iTunes a bit more relevant in the age of streaming. These rumors have added that the service may also have Android capabilities – a new direction for Apple, but one that could be necessary for widespread popularity. 

So what’s on the far end of the rumor spectrum? Perhaps an update to the iPad, which, for the first time ever, has gone down in sales amid a tablet-buying plateau. Some say a 12-inch iPad Pro is in the works. Otherwise, Apple TV could be repurposed as a “smart home” device, given the growing interest in the Internet of Things.

With Apple, it is hard to say what to expect, but it is likely it will make waves. The event will be live streamed on March 9 at 10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern, on apple.com/live and Apple TV.

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