Apple, in a surprise move on Monday, launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini ahead of a March 25 event where it is expected to launch a television and video service.
So far in its annual March event, Apple has been making announcements related upgrades for its product lines, but this year the focus is likely to shift to services, especially after it reported its first ever drop in Phone sales in January.
The new iPad models, geared with Apple’s latest A12 Bionic chip and support for Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, are already available for order at apple.com and in the Apple Store app in the United States and the United Kingdom, along with a few other countries.
“That it announced the new lineup in advance of next week’s event suggests it wants to focus on the content next week over hardware,” DA Davidson analyst Tom Forte said.
“Refreshing its lower-end lineup in advance of its streaming video content announcement next week speaks to the potential for Apple in streaming video content, with a strong installed hardware base, iPhones, iPads and Macs.”
With the new launch, the iPad will come in four different screen sizes, ranging from 7.9 inch to 12.9 inch.
“More iPad sales won’t make a big impact on the company’s enormous bottom line, but it can help to show consumers and investors that Apple still has the ability to create popular devices and features,” said Clement Thibault, a senior analyst at Investing.com.
In the year ended September 2018, Apple made about $19 billion in revenue from iPad sales, a very small portion compared with the nearly $167 billion it generated from the sale of iPhones.
Price and availability
The new iPad mini and iPad Air come in silver, space grey and gold finishes in 64GB and 256GB configurations. The new iPad mini starts at Rs 34,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 45,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model and the 10.5-inch iPad Air starts at Rs 44,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 55,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model and are available through Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers. The new iPads will be available in India soon.