Apple has launched a new range of iPads. Rather, it has added one new model and made improvements to an existing model and left everything else alone. The new models are a revamped iPad Mini and an ‘iPad Air’ which fits into the lineup just below the iPad Pro.
The return of the Mini has come as a surprise to many. It had been thought that due to the ever-increasing size of iPhones, the baby of the iPad family had completed it’s run. After all, why buy a device that can’t make phone calls, when you can buy a phone with approximately the same screen size and similar functionality? The Mini is almost identical to the previous version, which experienced its last upgrade in 2015, but has faster speeds and an improved display. It also has broader functionality and can work with the Apple Pencil.
The Air also works with the Apple Pencil – giving it similar usability to the Pro. In fact, the Air is a substantial upgrade from previous generations of the Pro but isn’t quite as fast as the most recent one. It also has a slightly smaller screen and doesn’t have the same aesthetics. In other words, people will know that you’re not using a Pro, if that’s important to you. The Air will work with the smart keyboard and makes sense when you look at the lineup. The Pro is designed for people looking for a lap[top replacement, the Air is a somewhat watered-down version that doesn’t have top of the line processors that push up the price.
So where does this leave the iPad offering? It’s clear that Apple is keen to have a device for everything – in stark contrast to its old goal of creating a market for others to try and inhabit. But this is a necessary move that lacks imagination but makes good commercial sense.