Apple Unveils New iPad And iPad Mini Ahead Of Streaming Service Launch

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has unveiled several new and revamped products ahead of the expected launch of its long-awaited streaming service.

On Monday, Apple debuted a new mid-tier iPad with a larger screen and introduced the first iPad mini update since 2015. The announcements come a week before the company rolls out a media and entertainment bundle designed to compete with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

The company debuted a new iPad Air with a 10.5-inch screen, bringing back a model that was phased out when Apple launched the iPad Pro a few years ago. That screen size is larger than the 9.7-inch, $329 U.S. model designed for education that Apple launched last year.

The iPad mini continues to use a 7.9-inch screen. The larger iPad introduced Monday supports the company’s Smart Keyboard, while both new devices work with the Apple Pencil stylus and include a faster A12 processor, a step up from the A10 chip used in last year’s education model iPad.

The new iPad mini models will still start at a retail price of $399 U.S., while the 10.5-inch iPad Air sells at $499 U.S. and up. Like every version of the iPad since the first one in 2010, the latest models come in configurations that connect to either just WiFi or cellular networks as well. Both iPads come in 64GB and 256GB storage capacity options.

On March 25, Apple is holding an event to officially launch its Netflix competitor and an Apple News Magazines subscription service. It’s also planning to announce the next major iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV software updates on June 3.

On Monday, Netflix officially confirmed that it won’t be participating in Apple’s new streaming platform, reflecting heightened competition between the Silicon Valley companies. Apple Inc. is rumored to be targeting prestigious awards shows for its upcoming slate of original movies and TV shows, including the Oscars and Emmys.

The new iPads announced Monday kick-off a year of several major new hardware launches for the technology company. Apple is also planning new AirPods and Apple Watches, multiple new Macs, including a revamped Mac Pro, and three new iPhones in 2019.