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 iPhone sales in January.
The new iPad Air looks like previous models, with thicker bezels on the top and bottom of the advanced Retina display (now with True Tone technology) to house the camera array and the physical Home button.
The company boasts that the upgrade delivers "three times the performance and nine times faster graphics". The iPad mini and Air come with a True Tone display and claims to have the "highest pixel density of any iPad".
With little fanfare, Apple today announced major (and, dare I say, long overdue) updates to the iPad Mini and the iPad Air. The new iPad mini is heavier by a gram - 300.5gms vs 299gms - but that's a difference most people are likely never going to notice. This tablet replaces the iPad Mini 4, which has been on sale continuously since 2015, and is now showing its age.
The new iPad Air will cost $499 and sport a screen that measures 10.5 inches diagonally.
The iPad Air has a 10.5-inches display and features a thinner design. For all intents and purposes, the new iPad mini is identical to the iPad Air in nearly every way except for its size. Then there's the $329 entry-level iPad with a 9.7-inch LCD.
Apple used to demand that an Apple Pencil be purchased at the same time as an iPad in order to allow the accessory to qualify for AppleCare+ protection.
The iPad mini 5 starts from $399. The new iPad Air lacks the 512GB option, but that was always an expensive, but useful, option for those wanting to use the Pro 10.5 in a professional capacity.
Apple essentially owns the premium tablet market now that Google's interest in Android tablets is waning.
The cameras are also identical on both, with an 8MP f/2.4 shooter on the back that seems to have been plucked out of the 6th generation iPad and can also do 1080p video.
Starting next week, they will also be available in China (Wi-Fi models only), Macau (Wi-Fi models only) and Mexico, Colombia, Greece, India, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand (Wi-Fi models only) and Turkey. Note that both the tablets support only the old Apple Pencil and not the new one. Wi-Fi-only versions and models with 4G connectivity in are available, in silver, space grey or gold.
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