It’s a big day for the iPad line, which gets a new iPad Air and iPad mini replacing the old 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the very old iPad mini:
Apple today introduced the all-new iPad Air in an ultra-thin 10.5-inch design, offering the latest innovations including Apple Pencil1 support and high-end performance at a breakthrough price….
Apple today also introduced the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, a major upgrade for iPad mini fans who love a compact, ultra-portable design packed with the latest technology… The advanced Retina display with True Tone technology and wide color support is 25 percent brighter and has the highest pixel density of any iPad, delivering an immersive visual experience in any setting. And with Apple Pencil support, the new iPad mini is the perfect take-anywhere notepad for sketching and jotting down thoughts on the go. The new iPads are available to order starting today and in stores next week.
The new iPad Air starts at $499 and the iPad mini at $399, joining the $329 iPad at the lower end of Apple’s increasingly differentiated iPad product line. Obviously they’re using Touch ID rather than Face ID and have larger bezels than the iPad Pro, but they’re also a fraction of the price. (Like that $329 sixth-generation iPad, both models support the first-generation Apple Pencil and the Logitech Crayon. The iPad Air is also the first non-Pro iPad to support Apple’s Smart Keyboard. I suspect it’ll fit many other 10.5-inch iPad Pro accessories, and am looking forward to trying it out with Brydge’s 10.5-inch keyboard.)
This is essentially Apple’s answer to the complaint that the iPad Pro is too expensive: There are other, very capable iPads in the product line that cost a lot less than the iPad Pro. Potential iPad buyers are free to choose accordingly.