No sightings of iPhone as Apple unveils new iPad Air

The eighth-generation iPad features the powerful A12 Bionic with the Neural Engine, a 10.2-inch Retina display and more.
The eighth-generation iPad features the powerful A12 Bionic with the Neural Engine, a 10.2-inch Retina display and more.

Credit: Business Wire

Credit: Business Wire

Apple didn’t unveil a new iPhone on Tuesday, but the company made a few waves with a throwback version of the iPad Air that takes a page from the design of its old iPad Pro.

The reimagined iPad Air will be available next month, starting at $599, and will come in five colors, including silver, space gray, rose gold, green and sky blue, according to reports.

»LAST WEEK: Apple’s big unveil might not include the iPhone 12

CEO Tim Cook demonstrated the new tablet during Tuesday’s one-hour presentation recorded at the company’s massive headquarters in Cupertino, California, but only mentioned the release of iOS 14 for iPhone, which will launch Wednesday with many new features and security enhancements.

No new iPhones were announced due to production problems caused by the pandemic, which have delayed the release of Apple’s flagship device until at least October.

The company unveiled the new Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, a new eighth-generation iPad, Fitness+ workout services and an Apple One services bundle.

The updated design for the new iPad Aid features a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, laminated with a nonreflective coating, and thinner bezels around it than the previous model. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is now built into the power button at the top of the device.

Inside, Apple has also upgraded the inner workings of the tablet with the “most advanced chip” it has ever made — the A14 Biaonic 5nm chip, which the company said will improve graphics and performance by 40% over the previous iPad Air.

The major design changes to the Air come a year after the product was revived to compete with the iPad and iPad Pro, according to reports.

The new Apple Watch, meanwhile, is available in a new discount model called the Apple Watch SE, will sell for $279 and be available beginning Friday. The price is a markdown from the $399 that Apple is asking for the next version of its higher-end watch, the Series 6. Apple watches have been selling for an average of $377, based on calculations by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley.

Apple added more features to help the watch monitor its owner’s health, including a sensor that can read blood oxygen levels. The feature, specific to the Series 6, could be timely, given that COVID-19 frequently attacks the lungs.

Apple also announced a new fitness subscription service tailored for its watches for $10 per month, as well as a new option that will bundle its existing music, video, news and gaming services into a package that will cost $15 to $30 per month.

Tens of millions of people already subscribe to Apple’s various services, helping the company double its revenue during the last four years within a division that creates products for the more than 1 billion iPhones, iPads, watches and other devices that people already use.

The services division also includes Apple’s app store, which is under regulatory scrutiny for charging a commission of up to 30% for products sold through other companies that have no other option but to use the store to reach the mostly affluent consumers who buy iPhone products.

— Information provided by The Associated Press was used to supplement this report.