Going into the event, many (myself included), thought the larger iPad would get the big boost in tech specs, and it did. It's now 1 pound (an engineering marvel almost like the new Mac Pro), is 20% thinner, and sports the A7 and M7 chips, first seen in the iPhone 5s. It also features MIMO support for better, faster Wi-Fi, and has a battery life up to 10 hours, depending on usage.
The iPad Air, Apple's fifth-generation iPad, which starts at $499 for Wi-Fi and $629 for LTE models. It also has a narrower bezel, allowing content to fill up more of the tablet.
The problem is, not only did the iPad Air (which by the way, is a great name) get a massive upgrade, so did the iPad mini.
Most were expecting the iPad mini to get Retina Display, which it did. However, it got a helluva lot more than just that. The new iPad mini, which starts at $399 for the 16 GB model ($70 more than the original iPad mini) also gets the A7 and M7 chips. Last year, the iPad mini, which has now been dropped to $299, received the A5 chip, so many were expecting the second-gen iPad mini to get the A6. Not so fast, said CEO Tim Cook and friends.
Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha, who rates Apple "neutral" with a $525 price target, is disappointed by the price increase of the iPad mini. "The iPad mini now has a Retina display and improved LTE support," Garcha wrote in a note. "The tablet portfolio will now span from $299 to $499 for basic models, although we are somewhat disappointed by the effective price increase for the iPad mini. In aggregate, given a superior compute offering and ecosystem, Apple will remain dominant even if market share erodes."