HOW QUICKLY WE FORGET: Eight years after Steve Jobs asked, “Who needs a stylus?” Apple unveiled the Pencil, which functions...pretty much like a stylus. The tool was part of a series of product updates that made up “the biggest news in iPad since the iPad,” in the words of CEO Tim Cook. The pencil will cost $99.
The keyword is “big.” In front of a carefully curated crowd of fanboys and aficionados, Cook and other executives touted the iPad Pro. Measuring 12.9 inches diagonally, the device comes with more graphics processing power so users can run AutoCAD, edit 4K videos and run multiple apps side by side. And for those griping about how hard it is to type on a tablet, there’s now an accessory cover, available for $169, that doubles as a keyboard (and looks eerily similar to the Microsoft Surface).
The new features pack a lot of punch, but will this beefed up iPad help Apple regain its command of the tablet market? Market data shows “iPad sales have declined for six consecutive quarters year-over-year in what has become a stagnated tablet market over the past few years.” Priced at $799 to $1079, the iPad Pros will be competing more with professional work tools like Microsoft Surfaces than Chromebooks or other devices more affordable for schools. Sales of the iPad dipped from 2.9 million units in 2013 to 2.7 million last year, according to market research firm IDC. The most economical Apple tablet, the iPad mini 2, now starts at $279.
AppleInsider has all the bases covered on updates to other products including the watch, TV, phone and a smarter Siri.