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Apple (AAPL) Unveils New iPad, iMac, AirTags, TV 4K & More

Apple AAPL launched a number of products at its virtual Spring Loaded event.  The company also outlined its focus on boosting Services business.

As anticipated, Apple launched a new iPad Pro. Along with it, the iPhone-maker launched a redesigned iMac, long-awaited AirTags, Apple TV 4K and a revamped credit card offering among others.

The company also unveiled a new purple finish for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini lineup, which will ship with iOS 14.5, and enable users to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask. These will be available for pre-order beginning Apr 23, with availability from Apr 30.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini feature Super Retina XDR displays. They are powered by the A14 Bionic chip and come with 5G connectivity. There are dual 12-megaixel cameras on the back of the two phones. On the front, there is another 12-megapixel selfie shooter.

Apple’s shares have returned 92.8% over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500’s rally of 50.6% attributed to a record $274.5 billion in sales for fiscal 2020 boosted by accelerated growth in services, as well as healthy sales of iPads and wearables. The newly introduced devices and services are expected to aid top-line momentum in the rest of 2021.

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Let’s delve deeper into the announcements.

Apple Unveils new iPad Pro with M1 Chip

Apple unveiled refreshed iPad Pro lineup with a faster processor, 5G connectivity, and new cameras besides the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes as the previous version. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro features a new Liquid Retina XDR display engineered with a new cutting-edge mini-LED design.

The M1 chip in the new iPads is the same chip inside the latest MacBook Air, entry-level MacBook Pro, Mac mini and new iMac.

Moreover, the latest tablets will include a newly added Thunderbolt connector, allowing compatibility with additional accessories such as external monitors, thus enabling the iPad to sync with external storage drives at faster speeds.

Aimed at workers and students returning to offices and schools in the new normal, the iPad Pros go on sale starting Apr 30, priced at $799 for the 11-inch model. The 12.9-inch version with the MiniLED screen will start at $1,099. Models that are 5G-capable will cost an additional $200, and storage tiers will range up to as much as 2 terabytes for the first time.

Markedly, Apple’s wireless carrier partners in the United States including Verizon Communications VZ, T-Mobile US TMUS and its Sprint unit are offsetting the cost of the iPad Pro’s 5G upgrade by offering up to $200 back in gift cards. AT&T T will offer $150 back in the form of credits to a customer’s monthly bill. This will encourage users to link the new tablets to cellular networks.

New Redesigned iMac Launched in Vibrant Colors

This is Apple’s first redesign of its flagship desktop iMac computer since 2012. It runs Apple’s M1 custom processor and showcases a new 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with slimmer edges, up from 21.5-inches on the previous entry-level.

The latest machine comes in seven different colors with 1080p FaceTime HD camera, better speakers and improved microphones for video conferencing besides an upgraded power adapter that can magnetically attach to the back of the iMac and four USB-C ports.

Moreover, these iMac computers offer three new keyboard options including a standard color-matched keyboard, a keyboard with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and another with a fingerprint scanner and a number pad. The company is also offering Touch ID for the first time in iMac through a dedicated security component on the keyboard that communicates directly with Secure Enclave in M1.

The iMac will start at $1,299 and is expected to pull sales from businesses and schools, which may require new equipment for those employees returning to the office after vaccines for COVID-19 are more readily available in some countries.

Apple TV 4K Launched With A12 Bionic Chip, New Siri Remote

The event witnessed an upgraded Apple TV set-top box with a faster processor, the A12 Bionic chip, replacing the A10 processor in the previous model. The new box supports higher-frame-rate HDR video with Dolby Vision, providing an improved viewing experience.

The latest model will also include a revamped, all-metal Siri remote together with tvOS, which will give it a competitive boost over other market players like Amazon, Google and Roku that are coming up with competing devices.

The new Apple TV 4K will be available later in May after opening for orders on Apr 30. It will start at $179. Apple TV HD with the new Siri Remote will be available for $149.

Apple Adds Paid Podcast Subscriptions to Podcast App

Services have quickly become one of Apple’s chief revenue drivers. The company announced subscriptions for its Podcasts app, letting users pay creators directly and access ad-free listening experiences in over 170 countries. The service will be available through the Podcasts app that comes with the iPhone.

The Podcast app will also add a Smart Play button that helps listeners automatically start episodic shows from the latest episode and serialized shows from the beginning of each series.

The revamped Podcast service that will compete with rival Spotify joins Apple’s line of paid digital offerings, including Apple TV+, Apple One services bundles, Apple News+, Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness+.

Apple’s Highly Anticipated AirTags Arrive for $29

Apple launched its highly anticipated new wearables accessory called AirTag, which is equipped with the Apple-designed U1 chip using Ultra Wideband technology, enabling Precision Finding for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users. AirTags will cost $29 each or four for $99 and will be available starting Apr 30.

The accessory will work with an updated version of the Find My app on all the company’s major devices, adding third-party items to Apple’s service for tracking the location of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and other products.

Customers can personalize AirTag with free engraving, including text and a selection of 31 emojis. Once AirTag is set up, it will appear in the new items tab in the Find My app where users can view the item’s current or last known location on a map.

Earlier this month, Apple opened its Find My app to third-party devices such as bicycles and headphones, to integrate location chips to be found by the Find My app without additional hardware.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company also unveiled a new feature called Apple Card Family at the Spring Loaded event, which lets users share the same Apple Card with other family members via iCloud Family Sharing. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The card owner can set a spending limit for each invited user. Once this feature is available, Apple Card can be shared with family members who are 13 or older, and there will be dedicated options for parents to control their children’s spending.

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