Apple debuts iPad Air 4, Apple One subscription service
Apple has introduced the iPad Air 4, a revamped version of its most affordable iPad range, alongside the Apple Watch Series 6 and a new subscription service, Apple One.
The announcement was made last night by CEO Tim Cook, during a virtual event live-streamed across the American multinational technology company’s social media pages.
The new iPad, which Apple calls its most powerful iPad ever, was launched as Apple celebrates 10 years of iPads. The iPad Air was originally launched in 2013 and has gone through numerous updates over the years.
The fourth iteration of the iPad Air features a new all-screen design with a larger 10.9-inch liquid retina display, a thinner and lighter design, and new camera and audio upgrades. While it doesn’t feature Face ID, it has integrated a Touch ID sensor, and the A14 Bionic chip for a boost in performance.
The iPad Air range sits below the US firm’s top iPad Pro range, but is now just as good and more affordable than the Pro. It now has a USB-C port, which replaces the older lightning connector and a new 12MP rear camera – features taken from the iPad Pro range.
It launches at a time when mid-tier tablet devices have become popular, as demand grows significantly during the COVID-19 lockdowns, influenced by remote working and e-learning initiatives.
The iPad Air 4 will be available from next month, starting at $599 (R9 853).
“Today, we’re excited to introduce a completely redesigned and far more powerful iPad Air, debuting Apple’s most powerful chip ever made, the A14 Bionic,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing.
“With its gorgeous new all-screen design, larger 10.9-inch liquid retina display, next-generation Touch ID, and a massive boost in performance with the A14 Bionic, the new iPad Air brings customers powerful pro features at an even more affordable price.”
Bundling with Apple One
Apple also announced its subscription bundle service, Apple One, which bundles together Apple's existing services, allowing customers to pay one monthly price to get multiple services, as one package deal that includes Apple Music, the iCloud storage service, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and the newly introduced Apple Fitness Plus.
The new Apple One service, which will be made available in the coming months, is expected to compete with the Amazon Prime set of services, which include unlimited movie and TV streaming, an e-book service,music streaming,photo and video storage services on Amazon Cloud Drive, among other offerings.
“Apple One makes enjoying Apple subscription services easier than ever, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of Internet software and services.
“With Apple One, you can access the best of Apple entertainment across all your favourite devices with one simple subscription.”
Customers can sign up for AppleOne and geta 30-day free trial for any of the services that they do not already have. It comes in the following packages:
- Individual:Includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 (R246) per month.
- Family: Includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 (R328) per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.
- Premier: Where available, includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for $29.95 (R493) per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple has given its most popular smartwatch a major upgrade, with the new Apple Watch Series 6. It delivers a faster S6 System in Package (SiP) and next-generation always-on altimeter, and is available in a palette of new case finishes and bands.
It has blood oxygen monitoring features, providing more insight into the wearer’s overall wellness.
Built on Apple’s OS 7, the watch also includes sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, new workout types, and the ability to curate and share watch faces that show multiple time zones at once, a count-up face that lets users track elapsed time, and offers customised features.
“Apple Watch Series 6 completely redefines what a watch can do,” said Jeff Williams, Apple COO.
“With powerful new features, including a blood oxygen sensor and app, Apple Watch becomes even more indispensable by providing further insight into overall wellbeing.”
Using a new dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic in iPhone 11, the upgraded S6 SiP allows apps to launch 20% faster, while maintaining the same all-day 18-hour battery life.
The premium model starts at $399 (R6 536) for the version with GPS, while the model that adds cellular capabilities starts at $4 998 (R8 174).