While the Apple vs FBI controversy was the top Apple story from last week, the case takes back seat this week to news surrounding Apple’s upcoming March 21st iPhone and iPad. But Apple and the FBI stories still come in right behind in this week’s top stories, followed by news of Apple’s latest iOS 9.3 beta release, plans for Siri on Mac this fall, and the moire on the rumored upgraded camera system planned for iPhone 7.

Apple’s March iPhone SE & iPad event

The biggest Apple story of the week and outshining even the Apple vs FBI controversy this time around is Apple’s plan to launch a 9.7-inch iPad Pro with likely support for Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil accessories, not an iPad Air 3 as many expected. The device is expected to make its first appearance at Apple’s press event next month, now reportedly planned for the week of March 21st, alongside the much anticipated 4-inch iPhone model that Apple is now reportedly planning to launch as the “iPhone SE” for around $400-$500.

  • Apple to launch 9.7-inch iPad Pro, not Air 3; Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil support likely
  • Apple likely to drop the ‘5’, call new 4-inch model the ‘iPhone SE’
  • iPhone 5se drawings: nearly identical to 5s with slightly curved edges
  • Apple event pushed to week of March 21st, 4-inch iPhone SE, new iPad Pro and more on tap
  • KGI: New 4-inch iPhone to cost between $400-$500, feature 12 megapixel camera, 50% price drop for iPhone 5s

Apple vs FBI

The Apple vs the FBI controversy continued this week. The top stories: Apple lawyer Ted Olson’s said an unlock tool would lead to “Orwellian” society, while Edward Snowden described how the FBI could extract a passcode from an iPhone without Apple’s help, and Apple issued a formal response to the FBI’s request: 

  • Apple lawyer Ted Olson says creating unlock tool would lead to an ‘Orwellian’ society [Video]
  • Edward Snowden describes how the FBI could physically extract passcode from iPhone chip without Apple’s help
  • Apple officially responds to court request to comply with FBI in San Bernardino iPhone case

iOS 9.3 & 9.2.1, OS X 10.12

And rounding out the list of top stories this week, Apple released its iOS 9.3 public beta 4 with Night Shift, Touch ID Notes, Verizon Wi-Fi calling and more, and we reported Apple plans Siri for Mac for its upcoming release of OS X 10.12:

  • Apple releases iOS 9.3 public beta 4 with Night Shift, Touch ID Notes, & Verizon Wi-Fi Calling
  • Apple plans Siri for Mac as tentpole feature for this fall’s OS X 10.12 launch
  • Apple updates iOS 9.2.1 to restore iPhones affected by ‘error 53’, apologizes to customers

This week’s top video

You can follow iPhoneFirmware.com on Twitter or join our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Apple and the Web.