Apple announces new iPad, PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 and iPhone SE storage bump
No new iPad Pro, but an unexpected iPad Air replacement emerges.
It was widely rumoured that Apple would update its iPad Pro line with new models this week, but instead overnight it announced the availability of a new iPad 9.7 inch model to replace the much older iPad Air 2 range.
The new iPad, which is now just "iPad" with the Air suffix removed, is a 9.7 inch iOS 10 tablet with either 32GB or 128GB of onboard storage, an Apple A9 processor and optional 4G LTE connectivity. As with everything iOS, onboard storage is not upgradeable. Here’s how the pricing for the new iPad line compares:
|32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular||$669|
|128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular||$799|
While the iPad Air 2 line is discontinued, the iPad Mini 4 gets a capacity increase, with a single 128GB model available in either Wi-Fi or LTE configurations.
|Apple||iPad Mini 4|
|128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular||$779|
The iPad upgrades will be available to order online from Apple from 24 March 2017, with availability from next week.
Apple technically announced a new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus overnight as well, but this is just a colour variant, with a new (PRODUCT)RED special edition going on sale. It will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities only, so it's an effective match for the shiny Jet Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in that respect.
|Apple||iPhone 7 PRODUCT(RED)||iPhone 7 Plus PRODUCT(RED)|
Apple hasn't stated what percentage of that purchase price goes towards the fight against AIDS, but it did note that to date it has raised more than $US130 million for the fund over the last 10 years through the sale of PRODUCT(RED) Apple products.
But Apple wasn’t quite done yet, with a much quieter bump in iPhone SE storage sizes. The introduction of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus had left the iPhone SE as the only device in Apple’s phone range to still offer a measly 16GB storage option, but that’s a thing of the past. The iPhone SE now comes in a 32GB variant for $679 and 128GB variant for $829 with the same Apple A9 processor it’s always had. Indeed, with the bump in the iPad Mini 4's storage, Apple has nothing in its range that offers 16GB of storage any more at all.
There’s no sign as yet of local telcos offering the new storage capacities of the iPhone SE, but that should just be a matter of time given the general wide popularity of iPhone models. Apple’s international release for the PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus notes that it may be available from "selected carriers", but again there’s no sign of it from any of the local networks as yet. Apple will sell the upgraded iPhone SE and the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 range outright from 25 March 2017.