Apple unveils its updated iPad range, including Air and 8th Generation

iPad Air with A14 bionic chip will go on sale next month for $599 and come with a TouchID sensor built into the power button, 12MP camera and a 10.9″ liquid retina display

  • Apple virtual launch event started at 10am Pacific time (6pm BST) today 
  • Widespread doubt the tech giant will launch its latest iPhone due to Covid-19   
  • Apple unveiled the new iPad Air, Watch Series 6 and Apple One

Apple has unveiled its brand new iPad Air alongside a new Apple Watch and the iPad 8th Generation at its virtual ‘Time Flies’ event. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced at the end of talk that iOS 14 will be launching tomorrow. 

The all new iPad Air has thin bezels, a 12MP rear camera, a 10.9′ liquid retina display (2360 x 1640) and a brand new chip, called the A14 Bionic.  

The screen comes fully laminated with True Tone support and anti-reflective coating. 

As a result of this jam-packed display, the TouchID sensor has merged with the power button and moved to the top of the device. 

The brand new iPad Air will be available next month and is set to retail for $599 in the US. 

In line with expectations, Apple did not mention a new iPhone, which is expected to be announced in October due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Apple announced its new range of iPad Air tablets, in five different colours, including rose gold (middle)

Apple previously updated its iPad Pro, and is now bringing higher specifications to the rest of its range of tablets. Alongside the reinvented mid-range Air (pictured), Apple also unveiled the 8th Generation iPad which comes with its A12 bionic chip

Apple previously updated its iPad Pro, and is now bringing higher specifications to the rest of its range of tablets. 

Alongside the reinvented mid-range Air, Apple also unveiled the 8th Generation iPad which comes with its A12 bionic chip. 

The tech giant claims the 8th Generation iPad is 40 per cent faster than its predecessor and twice as fast as the top selling Windows tablet. 

iPad 8th Generation will start at $299 for education users and is available to order today, with availability on Friday.  

Alongside the new hardware, Apple is also rolling out iOS 14 for the tablet which uses the device’s computing power and pencil capability to detect handwritten text. 

Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at, syas of the launch: ‘With the new 8th generation iPad featuring the A12 chip and the new midrange iPad Air’s squared-off, bezel-free design, 2020 is shaping up to be the year of the iPad for Apple.

‘Now, Apple fans can rely on these stylish new watches and iPads to countdown the days and hours until the anticipated launch of the iPhone 12, which now looks likely to appear in October.

‘The phones are expected to include Apple’s first 5G handset and improvements to its camera.’

The firm’s annual showcase was thrown into disarray following the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Instead of its usual in-person extravaganza, tech fanatics were invited to attend a virtual event streamed from Apple Park in Cupertino, California from 10am Pacific time (18:00 BST) today. 

Shortly after launching, the stream had more than one million concurrent viewers.   

Pictured, a graphic from Apple showing the major selling points of the brand new mid-range iPad, the Air 

While there is no iPhone reveal, the new Apple Watch is decked out with a host of upgrades, including the ability to track blood oxygen levels

Apple pledges to be 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2030 

Apple is investing in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines, as part of its effort to become ‘100 per cent carbon neutral’ by 2030.

The 650-foot turbines, located near the Danish town of Esbjerg, are expected to produce 62 gigawatt hours each year — enough to power almost 20,000 homes.

The electricity produced at Esbjerg will be used to power Apple’s 500,000-square-foot data center in Viborg, with all surplus energy going into the Danish grid.

It will also act as a test site for powerful offshore wind turbines, the company said. 

Apple did not say how much it was investing in the project, which is being developed in partnership with European Energy.

Apple is investing in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines near the Danish town of Esbjerg

As well as the tablet upgrades, Apple announced a range of new Apple Watches, including the Series 6 which is decked out with a host of upgrades, including the ability to track blood oxygen levels. 

An in-built blood oxygen level sensor shines red and IR light onto the wrist and measures what is reflected back.

Algorithms detect how much oxygen is present in the blood in just 15 seconds and Apple hopes this facility will provide key information for a range of scientific studies. 

S6 is up to 30 per cent faster than the previous generation due to a chip adapted from the A13 from the iPhone 11. 

The Apple Watch also comes with improved ‘always-on’ display and altimeter. 

S6 will also be available in blue aluminium, classic gold, grey/black and, for the first time, Product(RED). 

Apple also made a big deal of its new ‘solo’ strap, a band of continuous silicone without a clasp or buttons.

Apple has also created dozens of new faces ranging from stripes to a tachymeter.

While it has added one marquee new feature and a host of new faces, bands and gimmicks, Apple is also taking a leaf out of the iPhone playbook and is creating an Apple Watch SE.

This uses the S5 chip and is a simplified version of the gadget. 

Series 6 Watch ($399) Apple Watch SE ($279) are available to order today with availability on Friday. 

The technology giant also confirmed it was to launch a new exercise subscription service called Fitness+, which is powered by the Apple Watch.

The service, which will cost £9.99 a month, will enable users to stream fitness classes with professional trainers on their iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, with their exercise metrics automatically tracked by their Apple Watch while also being shown on-screen.

The service will be linked with Apple Music, the tech giant’s music streaming service, to provide playlists for each workout.

A range of workouts, including walks and runs on a treadmill, yoga and HIIT sessions will be available when the service launches later in the year and will be seen as a direct competitor to platforms such as Peloton, which has had success with its own exercise bike and linked subscription service of associated workout classes.

The new subscription service joins a growing number of similar products offered by Apple, which has increasingly turned to its services business in recent years as a key revenue source as hardware sales slowed.

As part of that expansion, a new bundle of all its subscription services known as Apple One was announced, which at the top tier will include access to iCloud storage, Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, News+ and Fitness+ for £29.95 a month.

‘Apple One is a masterstroke and represents a first step into bundles. A move to drive value from users and the untapped opportunity with families,’ says industry expert Paolo Pescatore.

‘Apple recognises the growing importance of services to its future growth. All of the building blocks are in place. Now it is all about strengthening its line of programming across the board. This will pave the way for a new service based business model. 

Apple kept quiet before the event and there was no mention of an iPhone in the run up to ‘Time Flies’. 

Rumours were abound that it would be delayed due to supply chain issues brought about by the global pandemic. 

Production delays in China, travel restrictions worldwide and related issues linked to measures designed to slow the spread of coronavirus are behind the delay. 

With details of the new iPhone models likely delayed until next month, Apple is expected to spend today’s event focusing on a range of other products. 

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