Apple just pulled a very un-Apple move by casually releasing new iPads today without a lot of fanfare. This is just one week before their big March press event, which makes me wonder what (if anything) will be happening on the 25th. The current rumors are that the event will be about a new TV streaming service.
Guess I can skip it now!
Rumors leading up to this month had been indicating that we would see a new "non-Pro" iPad and a new iPad mini. Both of those were correct! The new iPad Air is being compared to the old iPad Pro of 2017, with a similar 10.5" footprint. Meanwhile the mini is coming in at 7.9", which has been the standard iPad mini size.
Both devices arrive with support for Apple Pencil and $160 Smart keyboard covers.
You can buy both of these models today, and they'll be shipping next week. Currently the site estimates deliveries between March 29th and April 2nd. The new iPad Air is $500 for 64GB, or $650 for 256GB. The iPad mini starts at $400 for 64GB, and $550 for 256GB.
There are two key distinctions between these new entries and the Pros that came out last Autumn. Today's models include headphone jacks and Lightning connections; while the Pro models have a USB-C connector.
The current iPad range includes last year's 9.7" $330 "New iPad", the actually new 7.9" $400 iPad mini, the also new 10.5" $500 iPad Air, the recent 11" $800 iPad Pro, and 12.9" $1,000 iPad Pro. There are no technical specs available for the new devices, other than they sport the A12 Bionic chip found in the current range of iPhones. This is not the A12X found in the latest iPad Pro models.