After announcing its WWDC dates months earlier than usual, some speculated that Apple would forego its semi-annual spring event to refresh some of its hardware lines. That rumor was seemingly confirmed today, as the company quietly updated its website with minor updates to its iPhone and iPad lineups while leaving its Mac line untouched.
The flashiest addition is new (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, available in 128GB and 256GB capacities. As with its other RED offerings, with every purchase Apple contributes to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programs and help deliver an AIDS-free generation. This marks is the first time Apple has extended its RED promotion to the iPhone, which will be available March 24.
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Apple also announced the launch of a new 9.7″ iPad with an A9 chip and a brighter display that will replace the iPad Air 2. Simply called “iPad”, the entry-level model will start at $329 for 32GB of storage maxes out 128GB. The new 9.7″ iPad is available for order March 24.
“iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos, and now it is even more affordable,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it.”
The new iPad features a screen resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, an 8-megapixel rear-racing camera and 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera, but noticeably absent is a fully laminated display and anti-reflective coating.
Apple also announced that the iPad mini 4 now starts at $399 with 128GB of storage. The 32GB model has been discontinued.
Hardware aside, Apple introduced a free new app for iPhone and iPad called Clips that will be available in April. According to Apple, “The app features a unique design for combining video clips, photos and music into great-looking videos to share with friends through the Messages app, or on Instagram, Facebook and other popular social networks.”