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Apple unveils iPad with AI capabilities and ‘extremely powerful’ M4 chip

Apple has released a new iPad Air with artificial intelligence capabilities that they say are “more powerful and versatile than ever.”

In a pre-recorded live broadcast from its headquarters in Cupertino, California, the company unveiled the latest versions of its iPad Pro and iPad Air tablets, as well as the new Apple Pencil Pro.

CEO Tim Cook said on Tuesday (May 7) that this was “the most important day for iPad since its launch.”

At the heart of the new iPad Pro is Apple’s newly designed M4 processor, which delivers four times the performance of its predecessor. It’s worth noting that although Apple’s current MacBook series uses the M3 chip, CEO Cook said it is an “extremely powerful artificial intelligence chip.”

The company is expected to unveil its first set of artificial intelligence tools for iPhone and iPad at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. However, it’s not yet certain what AI features the new M4 chip will be able to implement.

What are the features of Apple’s new products?

Apple has announced that its higher-end iPad Pro models will feature upgraded displays, with prices starting at $1,000 for the 11-inch (27.9 cm) model and $1,300 for the 13-inch model.

It also launched a new version of the midrange iPad Air, now available in a larger 13-inch screen size for $800, as well as the existing 11-inch version, which previously retailed for $600. The tablets are powered by Apple’s M2 chip, which was first introduced in Apple MacBooks in 2022.

Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technology, said that the energy-efficient performance of its AI M4 chip and the new display engine make the iPad Pro’s thin and light design and game-changing display possible. Fundamental improvements to the CPU, GPU, Neural Engine and memory system make the M4 “ideally suited” to the latest applications leveraging AI. “Together, this new chip makes iPad Pro the most powerful device in its class,” he added.

Meanwhile, the upgraded Apple Pencil now features a new squeeze feature, allowing users to access tools, customize drawing layers and receive tactile feedback while working. It also supports “Find My” to help find your pencil if you misplace it. Retail price is $129.

iPad sales fell 10% to $6.44 billion in 2023, while Mac revenue fell 34% to $7.61 billion. Currently, these products combined account for only 15% of Apple’s total sales – a significant decline in recent years. Services has quickly grown into a larger business for Apple. The tech giant also reported first-quarter revenue of $90.8 billion last week, down 4% year-over-year.

Featured Image: Apple

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