Apple unveils cheaper iPad, red iPhones
Product launch lacks Apple's usual pageantry
Without the usual fanfare associated with some of its product launches, Apple on Wednesday rolled out a cheaper low-end iPad, a new iPad mini with more memory, and red iPhones.
The new iPad, which replaces the iPad Air 2, comes with a 9.7-inch (24.25-centimetre) screen, a brighter display and a faster processor. It will go on sale Friday beginning at $449 for a Wifi-enabled 32-gigabyte model. A similarly-equipped iPad Air 2 was listed on the Best Buy and Staples websites for $499, but was sold out.
A 10.5-inch (26.25-centimetre) iPad, which had been the subject of speculation, didn't materialize. Nor did new versions of the iPad Pro aimed at businesses and creative professionals.
The tablet market is in an extended decline after a few years of rapid growth. According to IDC, tablet shipments fell 20 per cent to 53 million in the final three months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.
The company also rolled out a new iPad mini 4 with 128 gigabytes of storage, beginning at $549. The new iPad mini is available now.
In its lineup of phones, Apple said its smaller screen iPhone SE will be available beginning March 24 in 32GB and 128GB models, doubling the current capacity and replacing 16GB and 64GB models.
Apple also unveiled a red edition of its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models. For each phone sold, the company will make an unspecified contribution to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programmes.
Apple usually stages its more elaborate product unveilings in September or October, in advance of the holiday shopping season. Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone is expected to feature better touchscreen technology, wireless charging and a shift to OLED displays.
With files from The Associated Presss