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Apple Inc.'s Upcoming Product Launch Event May Be Underwhelming

By Ashraf Eassa - Feb 26, 2016 at 1:30PM

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With only the new iPad likely bringing new technologies to the table, Apple's upcoming product launch event could be a snooze-fest.

Thanks to good work from 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, the investment community is well aware of Apple's (AAPL 0.63%) plan to host an event on March 15. During this event, the iDevice maker is said to be preparing to unveil three things.

The first is a new iPad, the iPad Air 3. The next is a set of new watchbands for the Apple Watch. And, finally, the company is said to introduce an updated 4-inch iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5se. The device is said to look like an iPhone 5s, feature the cameras of the iPhone 6, and the processing power of the iPhone 6s.

Frankly, I'm a tad surprised that Apple is bothering to host an event at all. Here's why.

Watch bands? Small iPhone?
Unless Apple plans to launch a next generation Apple Watch at this event, viewers are unlikely to care all that much about what the iDevice maker has to say. New Apple Watch bands are nice and all, but they're hardly the sort of thing that either customers or investors get excited about.

Then we have the new 4-inch iPhone. It should be a nice device, but I seriously doubt that anything about it will be anything groundbreaking since it is said to recycle components from both the iPhone 6/6 Plus as well as the iPhone 6s/6s Plus.

The iPad Air 3 should be the star of the show
The iPad Air 3 has the potential to really make this event worthwhile. Although the A9X chip that the device is said to pack has already made its debut in the iPad Pro, I strongly suspect that the rest of the technologies that the product is said to bring will be quite new.

For example, one rumor suggests that the iPad Air 3 will have a "4K" display, which should mean that the device will be the sharpest display ever shipped on in an iPad. I also wouldn't be surprised to see innovations that made their debut in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, such as the second generation Touch ID, make it to the new iPad as well.

However, if the iPad Air 3 is really going to be the product that carries Apple's March product launch event, it'll likely need more than the A9X chip and a sharper screen to really be worthwhile.

Here's why Apple is probably bothering with an event
If the iPhone 6s/6s Plus had sold in the numbers that Apple had actually hoped (they were likely banking on year-over-year growth), I don't think the iDevice maker would be hosting an event to launch these products; they very well may have shown up accompanied by a press release.

However, at this point Apple likely recognizes that it needs to be in the limelight as often as possible to both drum up hype for its product offerings and to, in an indirect fashion, "communicate" with investors.

It will be interesting to see what Apple executives have to say at the event. Can they drum up interest in iPhone and iPad with the new releases? Will they be able to appease investors that have had to deal with disappointing iPhone sales and the resultant drop in the share price over the last several months?

We'll find out in a couple of weeks. 

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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