Apple event LIVE: Cheapest iPhone SE 3 and new iPad Air 'coming today'

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APPLE is unleashing a flurry of new gadgets TODAY at a special event in California.

The live-streamed showcase is expected to feature a new iPhone SE 3, a new iPad and possibly new Macs too.

Apple has named the event Peek Performance – teasing fans about what's on show.

Like all Apple events post-pandemic, the March 8 showcase is entirely virtual.

But it's being live-streamed for free on the official Apple website and the YouTube channel to boot.

Apple regularly hosts special events in the spring – including one just last year.

Read our Apple event live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Sean Keach


    The clock is counting down until the start of the Apple event.

    It's now less than half an hour until Apple chief Tim Cook will unveil brand new gadgets.

    Apple usually adopts a relentless pace for these events. So expect new tech to come thick and fast.

  • Sean Keach


    I spoke to industry insider and expert CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood to get his view on what's coming tonight.

    Here's what he told me…

    “The iPhone SE will undoubtedly tick all the boxes if it is officially unveiled by Apple. Expect to see Apple emphasising improvements on numerous fronts including the performance of the processor, the camera, the battery life, and of course, 5G which will be a key element for operators keen to migrate users onto their new networks.”

    “A key driver for Apple in releasing the widely expected update to the iPhone SE is the need to add 5G capability to Apple’s entry level phone. Support for 5G is imperative for operators in Apple’s most successful markets, such as the US and UK.

    “The iPhone SE provides the most affordable iPhone in Apple’s line-up. It is perfect for consumers who are not interested in the bells and whistles on more expensive iPhones but love Apple’s user experience and apps.”

    “When the iPhone SE 2020 was announced at the height of the pandemic it was considered to be the perfect product at that time. Consumers were uncertain about the outlook and an affordable iPhone was ideally placed to take advantage of that.

    "In 2022 things have improved and the iPhone SE franchise still fills an important role as an affordable iPhone for consumers still cautious about splashing out on a top-of-the-line iPhone or who just don’t feel the need to spend more than is necessary."

  • Sean Keach


    The iPhone SE is Apple’s cheapest smartphone. It costs just $399.

    Apple first launched the series back in 2016, with SE standing for Special Edition.

    It was designed as a low-cost alternative to the iPhone 6S, with the same rough design as the iPhone 5S – but with more powerful hardware.

    Then in 2020, Apple launched the iPhone SE 2.

    Like before, the iPhone SE 2 launched alongside the iPhone 11 – but used the body of an iPhone 8, with more powerful innards.

    Now we’re expecting an iPhone SE 3 today, likely with a 5G upgrade.

  • Sean Keach


    With talk of a peek at Apple’s long-rumoured headset: what’s the difference between virtual and augmented reality?

    Virtual reality is when you’re completely immersed in computer-generated images.

    You can get that effect from something like Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 headset.

    It closes off your vision from the outside world, and lets you explore whatever app-makers have conjured up.

    Augmented reality is slightly different: it overlays computer-generated images onto the real world.

    A simple example is Pokemon Go – you see the creatures through your camera as if they were really there on the sidewalk.

    Google Maps also has a feature that places navigation arrows on your camera to guide you around.

    Augmented reality is mostly used through phone cameras today, but will probably be widely available through a pair of smart glasses in the future.

  • Sean Keach


    There are lots of rumours, and I'm more keen on some than others.

    I'd be particularly interested in a 5G iPhone SE. It's about time the price of 5G phones started coming down.

    A more budget-friendly Apple monitor – as rumoured – would also be good. The current Pro Display XDR is about $5,000. Not exactly cheap.

    And I hope we see the fabled M2 chip. It's Apple's next superfast computer processor, and will likely blow us all away if the M1 is anything to go by.

  • Sean Keach


    Here's the holding image for Apple's event.

    The video stream hasn't started yet, but will shortly.

    Note the time on this image is 6pm UK – but Americans will be watching in the late morning and early afternoon.

    Some people think the "inside view" of the Apple in the image is a hint that we'll see some augmented reality news today.

    That could be linked to Apple's long-rumoured augmented reality or virtual reality headset.

    But Apple isn't saying a word. Yet.

  • Sean Keach


    So what did Apple announce at recent spring events?

    At last year’s April event, Apple showed off a new iPad Pro and iMac, an Apple TV 4K, the AirTag and some new colour options for the iPhone.

    We also heard about new features coming in iOS 14.7.

    In 2019 at the March event, Apple hosted a special event focused on services, called “It’s show time”.

    We saw the reveal of Apple News+, the Apple Card, Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.

  • Sean Keach


    Apple is expected to start its event very soon.

    The livestreamed showcase will begin at 10am in California, which means New Yorkers can tune in at 1pm.

    And Londoners will be able to watch from 6pm.

    It’s unclear how long the event will last, but we’d expect somewhere in the region of 60 to 90 minutes.

  • Sean Keach


    Apple is most famous for its September events – but it’s no stranger to a springtime showcase.

    In fact, Apple has been hosting events in the early part of the year for a while now.

    • 2006 – February 28
    • 2007 – January 9
    • 2008 – January 16
    • 2010 – January 27
    • 2010 – April 8
    • 2011 – March 2
    • 2012 – March 7
    • 2015 – March 9
    • 2016 – March 21
    • 2018 – March 27
    • 2019 – March 25
    • 2021 – April 20
    • 2022 – March 8

    March is a clear favourite for Apple.

    • Sean Keach


      I’m Sean Keach, The Sun’s tech editor, and I’ll be covering Apple’s gadget bonanza live today.

      The rumour mill has been turning furiously, so we’ve got high expectations.

      Chiefly rumoured is a new iPhone SE – the cheapest Apple smartphone, now with 5G.

      But we’re also hearing talk of new MacBook Airs, iPad Airs and possibly even a new Mac computer.

      Then there’s the mysterious Peek Performance event name that Apple will hopefully unpack.

      The “peek” is being seen by some as a clue for a new product.

      For instance, Apple has long been expected to debut some kind of headset – offering either augmented reality or virtual reality.

      Its rivals – including Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Meta (formerly Facebook) – all have products in that category.

      So it may be time for Apple to offer a “peek” at what’s to come later this year.

      Sadly, Apple hasn’t revealed anything ahead of time.

      But we’ll know in about an hour.

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