Apple has revealed a smaller model of the iPad Pro, measuring in at 9.7 inches and featuring Apple Pencil support, four speakers and an A9X chipset.
The vendor has opted for a follow up to last year's professional tablet instead of releasing an iPad Air 3. This chimes with recent reports that Tim Cook and the team would launch a smaller iPad Pro to go alongside its 12.9-inch predecessor, drawing a parallel to Apple's approach with the MacBook Pro and its 13-inch and 15-inch variants.
Why bring out a new iPad Pro? Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, took to the stage to claim 200 million iPads have been sold with a 9.7-inch display, suggesting people have an appetite for the Pro's capabilities in a smaller package.
The new iPad Pro comes with the iPad Pro's Oxide TFT display. It's apparently 25 percent brighter than an iPad Air 2, works with Night Shift and something called True Tone display – which measures “colour temperature” and adapts the colour of the screen to suit.
In terms of performance, the new iPad Pro comes with the original Pro's A9X processor. It will also feature Siri, and support both a smart keyboard designed to suit the 9.7-inch retina display, and the Apple Pencil.
The new iPad Pro's 12MP iSight camera features True Tone flash and 4K video recording.
The wi-fi-only model starts at A$899 for the 32GB model, $1,149 for 128GB and $1,399 for 256GB. With wi-fi and cellular, the new iPad Pro costs A$1,099 for the 32GB model, $1,349 for 128GB and $1,599 for 256GB.
Hunting Windows users
But Apple is not only going after users upgrading from earlier iPads models. "There’s a second group of people who we’d love to reach with this new iPad Pro – Windows users,” said Schiller.
"You may not know this but the majority of people coming to an iPad Pro are coming from a Windows PC – a desktop or a notebook. Now we all now that Windows PCs were originally conceived of before there was an internet. Before there was social media, before there were app stores.”
Schiller pointed out that there are more than 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old. "This is really sad. These people could really benefit from an iPad Pro.
"When they see the features and performance and capabilities of a product like the iPad Pro, designed for a modern digital lifestyle, many of them will find it’s their ultimate PC replacement."