This morning, Apple did a number of unexpected things. Instead of hosting a large media event as the company is known to do, Apple very quietly launched two new products.
Alongside an all-red iPhone, Apple announced a 9.7-inch iPad, simply called the new iPad. As expected, Apple has retired the “Air” brand altogether, following the branding that the company has chosen for the MacBook line.
The new iPad is a follow up to the iPad Air 2, which came out in the end of 2014. The new iPad Air is a true upgrade in every way, except for the fact that it’s only $329. For the sake of comparison, the iPad Air 2 sold for $599, while the smaller iPad mini 4 goes for $399.
The significant price drop could be explained by the underperforming sales figures of iPads in general, as well as to create some product distinction between this line of products and the more premium, iPad Pros.
The new iPad has an A9 processor, which is an upgrade from the iPad Air 2’s A8X, though not as fast as the iPad Pro’s A9X. The camera and display remain the same as the iPad Air 2, but hey—who was complaining?
As pointed out by Engadget, the screen of the new iPad is not laminated to the glass, which could mean it has a visible gap between the display and the glass cover. Most new smartphones and tablets have such a feature, though we’ll have to wait to hold it in our hands ourselves to experience the full effect.
At a pricepoint of just $329, Apple is clearly pushing its iPads toward a new audience in hopes of moving more units and getting people with old iPads to upgrade.