Apple started its Monday morning by announcing an update to the iPad Mini and introducing the new iPad Air. In a press release, Apple said:
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.
iPad Mini: The iPad Mini was given internal updates in its processor and display, as well as an accessories update. Previously running an the A8 chip (released 2014), the new iPad Mini now contains Apple’s top-of-the-line A12 Bionic chip (released 2018). The Retina Display now also supports True Tone and wide color support, giving the new iPad Mini a 25% brighter display than the previous model. In addition to the internal specs, the iPad Mini now also supports the first generation Apple Pencil. All of these updates to the processor, display, and Apple Pencil support comes with no price increase. The 2019 iPad Mini starts at $399 - the same price as the 2014 iPad Mini.
iPad Air: The new iPad Air is essentially a specs and price update to what was previously known as the 10.5” iPad Pro, which was replaced by the 11” iPad Pro in October 2018. Where the previous 10.5” iPad Pro contained the A10X chip (released 2017), the iPad Air now has the A12 Bionic chip (released 2018). But not all of the changes to the 10.5” iPad were improvements. Where the previous 10.5” iPad Pro had a “ProMotion” display capable of outputting a 120hz refresh-rate, the new iPad Air no longer contains this technology. With the processor upgrade and the display downgrade, the 10.5” iPad Air starts at just $499 - down from $649 for the previous 10.5” iPad model.
The Price Points
These updates introduce several changes to the full line-up of iPad’s available from Apple in both specs and pricing. With the new line-up, an iPad is now available for purchase at price points between $329 and $1899. Specifically, the price points for each model are:
iPad: $329 - $559
iPad Mini: $399 - $679
iPad Air: $499 - $779
iPad Pro (11”): $799 - $1699
iPad Pro (12.9”): $999 - $1899
I think the wide range of price points is a wonderful move by Apple. While the price range has been between $329 - $1899 for a while now, the number of entry points has not. Before today’s updates and ignoring the previous 5-year old iPad Mini (that nobody in their right mind would buy in 2019), there was a massive starting price point gap between the $329 iPad and the $649 10.5” iPad Pro. Before today, a buyer had the option to buy a base model iPad for just $329 or a good iPad that was at least double the price.
Today’s moves by Apple blew the availability of the iPad wide open. The overall price range from $329 to $1899 hasn’t changed but the entry points are now incredibly well spread out. With so many spec options at a plethora of price points, there is now an iPad available for everyone.