GETTY • APPLE
Apple could launch new iPhone and iPad hardware tomorrow morning, according to this hint
Apple has published an update to its System Status page confirming the online Apple Store page will be "updated and unavailable" tomorrow.
Apple is pulling down the page for "maintenance" on March 21st between between 3:00am and 8:30am Eastern Time – that's between 7am and 12:30pm GMT.
The timing of this downtime has fuelled speculation that Apple is gearing up to launch new products.
The Cupertino-based technology company was previously rumoured to debut new products this week.
According to MacRumours, the renewed speculation is even more believable given that Apple commonly publishes its press releases at 8:30am Eastern Time, which coincides exactly with the end of the so-called "maintenance" update.
Apple always pulls down the online Apple Store ahead of an event.
Apple is taking its online Apple Store offline tomorrow morning
The change to the System Status page comes as a highly reputable supply chain analyst, speaking to MacRumours, predicted Apple would unveil new products this week.
According to the technology blog, this new estimate was based on the analysts' own sources – and was not influenced by other reports.
The analysts said Apple would most-likely debut its latest product refresh between Monday March 20th and Friday March 24th 2017.
Unfortunately, the latest research does not specify which Apple products will launch.
However there have been a number of previous research notes published by analysts around the company's plans for its hotly-tipped March Event.
Apple is purportedly working on three new iPad models.
Apple iPhone 8 – Leaked photos, concept images, and renders Sun, January 1, 2017
iPhone 8 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive Apple smartphones to date, with glass panels on the front and rear of the device, a curved borderless OLED display and no Home Button
Play slideshow VENIAMIN GESKIN • TWITTER • CONCEPT IMAGES 1 of 21
Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button
The US technology company is expected to launch an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model, with a svelte edge-to-edge display, as well as an updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Reliable sources, including KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, and blog Mac Otakara, have all quoted sources with knowledge of the planned March Event.
But aside from a refresh to the iPad line-up, most of these sources disagree on exactly what products will be announced during the press conference.
Last month, Mac Otakara claimed Apple would unveil an overhauled iPhone SE model with 128GB of internal storage, and new Apple Watch straps, alongside the iPads.
The report also suggested Apple would debut the long-rumoured iPhone 7 with a crimson (PRODUCT) RED finish.
Apple has held a press conference in March four out of the last six years
Apple has yet to mail-out invitations to a press conference in March.
If the latest analysts' report is correct, and the event is scheduled for next week, then would be much shorter notice than the company usually leaves.
In the past two years, Apple has always sent out its invitations – which typically boast with a mysterious tagline – some 11 to 12 days before the March Event.
Apple has debuted new products in March four times in the last six years.
The iPhone maker is expected to refresh the 9.7inch and 12.9inch iPad Pro
Some sources have said that Apple will remove the Home Button from its new iPad range.
This will allow the Cupertino company to dramatically reduce the size of the bezels around the display, except for the bezel along the top of the device, which contains the FaceTime camera and is said to remain.
This new industrial design language is expected to carry over to the next iPhone, which will drop the physical Home Button in favour of incorporating the Touch ID fingerprint scanner directly beneath the glass display.