Apple unveils new iPads on ‘biggest day’ for device

The tech giant announced a new ultra-powerful iPad Pro alongside new two versions of the iPad Air.

Apple has unveiled a new range of iPads in what the company’s boss called the ‘biggest day for iPad since its introduction’
Apple has unveiled a new range of iPads in what the company’s boss called the ‘biggest day for iPad since its introduction’

Apple has unveiled a new range of iPads in what the company’s boss Tim Cook called the “biggest day for iPad since its introduction”.

The US tech giant announced two new versions of its top-end iPad Pro, alongside two new versions of its mid-tier iPad Air.

The updates mark the biggest upgrade to the iPad line-up in several years, as Apple looks to reignite interest in its long-running tablet computer range.

The new iPad Pro will include a high-quality OLED display for the first time, as well as Apple’s new, own-made, top-of-the-range M4 chip, which the company says mean the new devices are 50% faster than the previous generation and ten-times faster than the original iPad Pro model.

Apple senior vice president of hardware engineering, John Ternus, said the new Pro “pioneers our most advanced technologies, and pushes the limits of what an iPad can be”, adding that the new device was the “iPad we’ve always dreamed of making”.

The new Pro is also the thinnest product Apple has ever made, the company says, noting during its presentation that it was thinner than its pocket-sized iPod Nano, with both versions of the Pro just over 5mm thick.

It will go on sale next week alongside a new version of the iPad Air, which will be sold in its traditional 11-inch size, as well as in a new 13-inch model.

It too has been given a faster Apple chip – the M2 – which Apple says will make the new Air 50% faster than its previous model.

The new tablets will be joined by a new stylus – the Apple Pencil Pro – which users can squeeze to interact with for the first time, and an updated version of the firm’s Magic Keyboard.

Industry expert Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, said Apple would be looking to “reinvigorate” its tablet range with the updates.

“Although tablets are one of Apple’s less prominent products, the iPad generated 5.6 billion dollars in revenue in the company’s most recent quarterly earnings, surpassing the total revenue of many rival device makers,” he said.

“However, given this was more than 15% down year-on-year, Apple is undoubtedly keen to reinvigorate the category, particularly in the premium tier.

“Whilst these new iPads are unlikely to return the category to growth immediately, they represent a much-needed reason to upgrade for customers with ageing products.

“The emphasis on artificial intelligence was palpable with Apple determined to seize back the initiative in this area given the huge focus on this topic by all its rivals over the last 18 months.”

Although Apple did not announce any major new AI tools during the event, company executives did repeatedly refer to the new chips in both devices allowing for better AI performance going forward.

It is expected to more broadly discuss its plans around AI during its annual developer conference, WWDC, which takes places in California next month.