This morning, Apple’s online store went dark, and now we know why. Apple decided to quietly bring two new iPads to the market, well ahead of its big event next week.
The first iPad, a 10.5-inch iPad Air, comes with 70 percent performance boost when compared to its predecessor, mostly thanks to the A12 Bionic chip paired with Apple’s Neural Engine. The display is 20-percent larger, and is compatible with the first-gen Apple Pencil.
The second iPad, the new iPad Mini, has needed a refresh for a long time. The 7.9-inch iPad Mini will match the specs of the iPad Air. The display on the Mini is 25 percent brighter when compared to the old iPad minis, and will also support the Apple Pencil, making it the smallest iPad to support it.
Both iPads will bring surface glass and screen closer together to improve visibility. It’s worth mentioning that neither iPad Air nor iPad Mini will come with FaceID built-in, and there will be Home buttons.
Both iPad Mini and iPad Air come in Silver, Space Gray and Gold color options, with 64GB and 256GB storage to choose from. The new iPad mini starts at $399 (£399 in the UK) for the WiFi model and the cellular will cost $529 (£519). The new 10.5-inch iPad Air starts at $499 (£479) with WiFi, or $629 (£599) for the WiFi + Cellular model.
It’s not all too surprising the Apple quietly rolled out these new iPad updates. These are, after all, not entirely new products, but rather just refresh of current models. On March 25th, Apple is expected to introduce all0new streaming video and news service, and might not introduce any new hardware.