On Monday, Apple Inc (AAPL) stock gained 0.7% with the surprise launch of the new 10.5-inch iPad Air and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini.
According to the tech giant, the new iPad mini and iPad Air — that comes in silver, space gray and gold — will be available in 64GB and 256GB configurations.
The iPad mini starts at $399 for its Wi-Fi model. The Wi-Fi + Cellular variant costs $529.
The 10.5-inch iPad Air bears a starting price tag of $499 for the Wi-Fi version, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular model starts at $629.
“Today the iPad family takes two big leaps forward with an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Air that brings high-end size, features and performance at a breakthrough price, and a major upgrade to the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which also brings Apple Pencil, Retina display and the A12 Bionic chip to the many customers that love its compact size,” weighed in Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Both versions of the new iPad have front-facing and back-facing cameras, that can capture 1080p HD videos. The A12 Bionic chip, along with Retina Display, are also noteworthy features. But the silent winner has been the Apple Pencil support, which seems to have found an ardent fan following in the artist community.
However, both iPad Air and the mini seems to have chucked the Face ID to go back to Touch ID, something that could raise many an eyebrow. On a hardware level, both models are a jump from the 9.7-inch iPad that housed the A10 chip. Another feather on the cap for the iPad Air is the support for the Smart Keyboard.
For years, iPad models have moved in a direction aimed at bringing users aboard from the mid-end laptop segment, with competitive pricing and support for accessories. However, given the latest reports from Asian regions on declining Apple sales, it remains to be seen as to how the tech mammoth would fare with these new offerings.
(Stock gain as of 2:00 PM ET)