Apple unveils updated iPad Mini and new iPad Air

Company is expected to unveil new video service next week

The new iPad Air. Photograph: Apple

The new iPad Air. Photograph: Apple

 

Apple has unveiled new iPads, adding a 10.5 inch iPad Air to its line-up and updating the iPad Mini.

The surprise move came ahead of an event next week in which Apple is expected to launch new video services and potentially unveil a TV service.

The new iPad models support the company’s smart stylus, the Apple Pencil that was introduced with the iPad Pro, the smart keyboard, and feature the company’s A12 Bionic chip.

The new iPads are available to order in a mumber of countries, including Ireland. Prices start from €469 for iPad Mini and €579 for the iPad Air.

“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.”

However, some analysts don’t expect Apple to launch a subscription service for video on demand, as a direct to Netflix.

“All signs point toward a new and enhanced version of Apple’s popular iTunes store and the associated “TV” app for mobiles. More of an update than a new service launch, the new platform will host Apple’s originals and the iTunes transactional video-on-demand store, and it will aggregate a broad range of third-party TV and OTT video services,” said Ovum’s Alison Cross.

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. – Additional reporting: Reuters