In one of the company’s quietest launches ever, Apple has just released a new 9.7-inch iPad in addition to unveiling new red iPhone 7s, releasing a collection of Apple Watch bands for spring and doubling the storage of both the iPad Mini 4 for and the iPhone SE.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s latest wares.
9.7-inch iPad (2017)
If you’re not after the horsepower of Apple’s iPad Pro family (or willing to brave the high price tags) your next best option has, up until now, been the iPad Air 2, originally launched way back in October 2014.
It’s been long overdue an update, so although the change is slight, the new 9.7-inch non-Pro model, simply called ‘iPad’, offers much of the same hardware as the Air 2, save for Apple’s newer A9 processor stepping in to run things in place of the older A8X chipset.
Beyond that, you can expect the same 1.2/8-megapixel camera setup on the front and back, same Retina display and similar battery life based on Apple’s quoted figure of “up to 10 hours of surfing the web on WiFi, watching video or listening to music,” despite a larger 32.4-watt-hour cell in place of the 27.3-watt hour battery used by the older Air 2.
Starting at £339 for the 32GB WiFi-only model, the new iPad undercuts its predecessor’s base price by £40, with the 128GB variant costing £429 making this the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad to date. Both capacities can also be had with 4G LTE for an extra £130 each and whichever skew you go for you’ll have the choice of silver, gold or Space Grey, with rose gold seemingly reserved exclusively for the Pro line.
iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition
Apple holds a long-standing relationship with Red, the organisation responsible for licensing out the Product Red branding used by the likes of Nike, Starbucks and Converse, but this is the first time the iPhone has ever undergone the Red treatment, celebrating the 10 year anniversary between the two organisations.
Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in a new special edition red colourway, with a similar finish to that of the rest of the 7 portfolio, save for the gloss of the Jet Black iPhone. Like the Jet Black option, however, both red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are only available with either 128GB or 256GB of storage, there is no 32GB skew in this new colour.
Beyond that, it’s the same hardware with the same starting price of £699 for the iPhone 7 and £719 for the iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple Watch bands: Spring 2017
Apple Watch users will appreciate a range of bands for the forthcoming season across a number of price points. £49 will buy you any one of the six new nylon bands (available in both 38mm and 42mm sizes), with colours like ‘Berry’, ‘Pollen’ and ‘Tahoe Blue’ to choose from. There are three new classic sport bands too, in ‘Azure’, ‘Pebble’ and ‘Camelia’.
You no longer have to pick up a Nike+ Apple Watch to get one of their signature sport bands, with the same sizes and price as the new nylon options on offer. The sport bands can be had in black/Volt, anthracite/black and pure platinum/white.
For those with finer tastes and larger budgets, the Hermès range of leather bands has been expanded too. The 38mm single tour comes in three new shades, ‘Lime’, ‘Colvert’ and ‘Fauve’ with the third also being available as a 42mm option, all for £299 each. The 38mm double tour now comes in two new colours, ‘Fauve’ and a pale blue named ‘Bleu Zéphyr’, both priced at £499, whilst the £699 38mm double cuff can now be had in that lighter Fauve shade of brown, hewn from Barenia leather in place of Swift leather.
Double storage for the iPhone SE and iPad Mini 4
If you’re in the market for a new, smaller smartphone or tablet, Apple is also doubling the internal storage available to both the iPhone SE and iPad Mini 4 without changing their respective prices. That means the SE can be had with 32GB for £379 SIM-free or £479 for the 128GB model, whilst the iPad Mini 4 comes with 128GB for £419.
The new 9.7-inch iPad, Product Red Special Edition iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, upgraded iPhone SE and iPad Mini 4 are all launching on March 24th, with the new Apple Watch bands available from today. EE, Vodafone, Three, Giffgaff and Carphone Warehouse have already confirmed that they will all be offering both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on a number of tariffs as of March 24th.
Carphone is promising up to £160 trade-in on an iPhone 6. Three and EE, meanwhile, will also be offering the new iPad and upgraded iPhone SE to their customers once they’re available.