iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 launch
Apple's new iPhone and iPad Air model to arrive in March Reuters

Apple is said to be planning to begin sales of its next iPhone and iPad in March, the same week the devices are expected to be unveiled. The company is likely to hold a media event on 15 March when it will introduce its latest iOS powered devices, and they would be up for sale online and in retail stores on 18 March.

The 4in iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 are unlikely to go on pre-orders and instead will go on sale directly, sources with knowledge about the matter told 9to5Mac. Skipping pre-orders entirely could be Apple's new strategy. The company usually rolls out the new iPhones one or two weeks after their launch and after pre-orders begin. A similar strategy has been used for iPad releases.

Coming back to the hardware parts, the iPad Air 3 is expected to include a Smart Connector and support a range of Apple accessories including updated smart keyboards. It would use the A9 processor, an upgraded camera with rear flash for sharp and clear photos.

According to the sources, the design of iPhone 5se would be identical to that of 2013's iPhone 5s. It would be powered with A9 and M9 processors, having NFC support for Apple Pay and always-on Siri activation. It could also pack iPhone 6's camera system with the ability to capture Live Photos.

The sources say the mini iPhone model would be available in the same colour options as iPhone 6s, including gold, rose gold, silver and space grey. The mass production of the new iPhone started in January, reveal the sources. In addition to the iPhone and iPad models, Apple is said to introduce new Apple Watch bands as well.