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Apple sends invites for next big event

Apple is gearing up for its next big event. The Tim Cook-led tech giant sent out invitations Thursday for an event March 21 at its Cupertino, California headquarters.

Rumors have been swirling for months that Apple would be unveiling its new iPad Air and a smaller, 4-inch iPhone in March. editor Nick Thompson says plans for a smaller phone are "a little surprising," since the trend in recent years among Apple and its competitors has been for bigger and bigger screens. The current iPhone 6s Plus boasts a 5.5-inch screen. "On the other hand, I think 4-inch screens are great. I think they're very efficient," he told CBS News."For a consumer who's more concerned about talking or scrolling between apps, who's not watching a lot of multimedia on the device, a 4-inch screen is pretty good."

The prospects for the next generation of iPads seem less promising. "Apple's tablets are dying, they're going away. People aren't using them," preferring laptops or smartphones instead, Thompson said. "I don't think there's a ton of life left in the iPad line."

At its spring event a year ago, the company made its splashy Apple Watch debut, but CNET reports it is not expected to unveil a new version of the watch this event. That being said, Apple Watch fans might see new bands and possibly some new watch faces and software updates.

Apple's next operating system -- iOS 9.3 -- has been available to developers in its beta form, but has not been made accessible to the public yet.

Typical of the company, Apple has been mysterious about the nature of this event. The invite simply says "Let us loop you in." Apple fans will have to wait and see which rumors are true and if there are any exciting surprises in store.

Follow coverage of the Apple 2016 event live at and on CBSN.

Apple sent a cryptic invitation for a special event Monday, March 21. CNET
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