Apple on Monday quietly announced new versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini, the company’s first refresh for those products in years.
Typically Apple () creates fanfare around the arrival of new hardware. But this year it wants the focus of its upcoming spring press event to be on its rumored streaming service. That’s why the company let the world know about its new iPads in a press release.
The iPad Air comes with a bigger 10.5-inch display (starting at $499), and the iPad mini has the same 7.9-inch screen (starting at $399). The devices support the Apple Pencil for the first time and a processor that’s three times faster than the previous models.
The iPad mini will mostly serve as an entertainment device, likely to attract students and teenagers, while the lightweight iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
The iPads don’t offer any revolutionary experiences and probably won’t move the needle too much in terms of sales. However, they may appeal to consumers looking to adopt some of the functionality of a higher-end iPad Pro, according to Ben Stanton, a senior analyst at Canalys.