CUPERTINO, Calif.—In an unexpected addition to Apple’s iPhone event today, the company announced a new 7th-generation iPad. In recent years, the company has saved such announcements for a separate event later in the fall, but Apple instead debuted a new version of its entry-level tablet this morning.
This new model comes with a 10.2-inch “Retina” display and an A10 Fusion chip. The latter is the same chip used for the existing 6th-gen iPad, and that chip was first introduced with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus—so don’t expect a significant performance upgrade. Still, it should provide enough power for the more basic entertainment and Web browsing needs the iPad is primarily aimed at.
Naturally, the new iPad will come with Apple’s forthcoming iPadOS update, which will give the device a more robust multitasking system. It’ll be able to connect to thumb drives and SD cards, too, and it will work with Apple’s Pencil stylus and Smart Keyboard attachment. Apple did not mention any switch to a USB-C port as it’s done with its higher-end iPad Pros, though that’s not surprising with a cheaper tablet like this.
The device will retain the $329 starting price of the previous 9.7-inch iPad and will begin shipping on September 30. Education customers will be able to get it at a slight discount of $299.
This is a developing story, and we will update it as more details become available. Apple’s event is still ongoing, but you can follow everything as it happens in the Ars liveblog.