While Apple is widely expected to issue significant updates to its iPad Pro family, the firm today surprised with far subtler updates to the normal iPad and to the iPhone.
I’m not sure anyone saw these updates coming, but let’s step through it all quickly.
iPad. Today, Apple replaced the years-old iPad Air 2 with a new budget iPad that starts at just $329 for 32 GB versions. It’s not exactly leading-edge tech, however: The new iPad features an 18-month-old A9 processor and is thicker and heavier than its predecessor. In fact, this new iPad is almost identical, form factor-wise, to the original iPad Air, which debuted in 2013.
iPad mini 4. Apple did not update the iPad mini 4 per se, but it has discontinued the 32 GB version while lowering the price of the remaining 128 GB version to $399. That’s a lot of money for an A8-based mini-tablet; it seems like Apple is pushing customers toward the full-sized iPads (and iPad Pros) for some reason. And maybe is looking to kill the mini.
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Today, Apple announced new (Product)Red versions of its best-selling iPhone 7 and 7 Plus handsets. Same pricing and specs, just a new color. But it looks nice, and if it’s anything like the (Product)Red iPod touch I once owned, it should be a nice option.
iPhone SE. Apple did not upgrade the mini-sized iPhone SE today, but it did double the storage capacities to 32 GB ($399) and 128 GB ($499), respectively. Nothing else has changed.
In addition to the hardware noted above, Apple also announced new iPhone 7/7 Plus leather and silicon case colors, and a new video editing app for iOS called Apple Clips.