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Apple Unveils Updated iMac, iPad During 'Spring Loaded' Event

Apple's new iMac and iPad Pro will both be equipped with its custom-designed M1 chip.
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report sprung into action Tuesday as the computer giant unveiled a series of changes to its products during "Spring Loaded," its first product-reveal event of the year.

Shares were off 1.76% to $132.47 at last check.

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the event from the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California. The event was streamed online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple's "Spring Loaded" Event: Live Blog Coverage For Investors

The company unveiled the iMac equipped with the M1 chip, which is specifically designed for the Mac. The new version is thinner than its predecessor, comes in a variety of colors and starts at $1,299. The iPad Pro is also now equipped with the M1 and will be 5G-capable. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch version will start at $1,099.

Wedbush Securities’ Managing Director of Equity Research Dan Ives, who maintained his outperform rating and his $175 price target on Apple, said in a research note that "Apple made significant changes to its 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models including its powerful updated M1 chip and 5G capabilities."

Ives noted that in the current work-from-home environment, brought on by the pandemic, "Apple has seen a major renaissance of growth from its iPad growth showing 40%+ YoY growth the last few quarters as more employees/students went through an iPad refresh."

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"We estimate less than half of iPad users globally have gone through a refresh the last year with some clear pent-up demand that these new iPads will unleash in the next few quarters thus giving Apple another product tailwind," he said.

In addition, Apple introduced AirTag, an iPhone accessory designed to locate keys and other items. It will be available beginning Friday, April 30 for $29. Apple also unveiled the first purple colored iPhone, which will be going into the iPhone 12 family.

"Taking a step back, we believe Apple is still in the middle innings of its biggest product cycle year ever across iMacs, iPads, AirPods, Apple Watch, and of course the iPhone 12 supercycle, which is set to be followed by the iPhone 13 unveil this Fall," Ives said.

On the financial front, the company announced the Apple Card Family, which will allow partners and spouses to build joint credit, and also give family members 13 years old and over access to Apple Card.

Apple faces headwinds through 2021, including increased competition, increased regulatory scrutiny on alleged anticompetitive practices in how its products and services operate and courtroom battles with Facebook  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report, Epic Games and Spotify  (SPOT) - Get Spotify Technology S.A. Report.

Last year, Apple held three special launch events -- in September, October and November. Apple did not hold a spring event last year due to the pandemic.

Apple is scheduled to report its fiscal second-quarter earnings on April 28. The Apple Maven will review Apple the earnings report and conference call via live blog, starting that day at 4 p.m. ET.

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