​All eyes on Apple - but what should we expect?

“Expect the quality of the iPhone 6, but in compact form.”

Tim Cook - CEO, Apple

Tim Cook - CEO, Apple

All eyes are on Apple today as the tech giant makes its first announcement of 2016.

But as the world tunes into Cupertino, what should we expect?

“Apple is hosting a low-key event on its own campus to launch new products, but will likely save any software and services announcements for its annual developer conference in June,” says Frank Gillett, Research Analyst, Forrester.

“And don’t expect any comments on the legal battle with the US government over encryption - as that would take away attention from the products being unveiled.”

As the tech industry plays its annual guessing game - think smaller smartphone or smaller tablet - and with Mobile World Congress now finished, the company once again times its release to perfection.

“Apple has mastered the art of managing the lifecycle of its product portfolio, not only to extend product life through software in order to maximise profitability, and also has a great sense of time-to-market,” adds Thomas Husson, Research Analyst, Forrester.

“Before making more significant announcements at its developer conference, and the likely introduction of a new iPhone in Q3, Apple is expected to launch a more compact 4-inch screen smartphone.”

As Husson explains, not all consumers favour phablets and larger screens, which have been particularly popular in Asia, and there is still demand for smaller devices.

“It's time to progressively phase out the iPhone 5s and, given slower growth in the high-end smartphone segment, to launch a more affordable device,” he adds.

“Expect the quality of the iPhone 6, but in compact form.”

With regards to the company’s tablet offering, Gillett believes Apple will “cut and paste” much of the technology from the iPad Pro to the now mid-sized iPad.

“Even though unit sales have declined, the iPad will not fade away because many buyers of early iPads will likely start replacing them causing tablet and iPad sales to stabilise,” he adds.

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