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Apple's new iPad gets a long-awaited redesign and a steeper price

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Apple surprised many industry observers by not raising the price of its latest iPhones this year.

But pretty much everything seems to be at least a little more expensive lately with inflation. Is it any surprise that your next tablet is also a little more expensive?

Tuesday, Cupertino, Calif. His company has revealed a handful of updated products, the most notable of which is a new version of its entry-level tablet – which it simply calls the “iPad”, not including the modifiers. And here’s what might be the biggest change: the new model is $449 to start—that’s $120 more than the base iPad, which eventually needs to be replaced.

(Penny pinchers, take note: Apple still sells the older, cheaper iPad for $329, the same as it cost when it first went on sale.)

Charging extra for new models while continuing to sell older models for less is not new to Apple: It continues to sell a MacBook Air released in late 2020 for $999. year.

We blind-tested the new MacBook Air. It looked very similar to the old one.

Even so, Apple’s latest launch comes at a time when some gadgets — even those that have been available for months and years — are getting more expensive. In early August, Facebook owner Meta began charging an additional $100 for its Quest 2 virtual reality headset, which has cost $299 since its fall 2020 launch. Later that month, Sony announced the release of the hard-to-find PlayStation 5. Some countries other than the United States would receive a price increase. And finally, Nothing, a consumer gadget startup headquartered in London, said its $99 Ear (1) wireless earbuds will soon be selling for $149 due to an “increase in costs.”

Apple declined to comment on the way it’s pricing its products. Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy “Probably due to general increases in material and labor costs.”

To be honest, Apple’s new iPad is quite different from the low-cost model it launched last year. Along with the colorful new design, it has a larger 10.9-inch screen and supports 5G wireless networks (if you pay extra). There’s no Lightning port here either – this new iPad uses USB-C for charging and connecting to accessories. And first, this iPad has a front-facing camera mounted on one of its long sides—making some of your video calls—for example, those made when supported horizontally by a keyboard cover—seem less awkward.

Apple’s iPhone 14: Reliable and boring, no problem

Even so, Apple’s latest sub-$500 tablet still relies on older parts first seen on other devices. For example, the A14 Bionic processor debuted in the iPhone 12 circa 2020. And in case you want to use this iPad for sketching or taking notes, you’ll have to use Apple’s original Pencil – a long, thin Bluetooth stylus that hasn’t changed since its launch in 2015.

(Important: If you already own one of these Pens, you’ll need to purchase a $9 adapter to connect it to this iPad.)

Apple seems to be betting that the changes packed into this iPad will make people ignore the price difference this holiday season, but changes in the tablet market could prevent that from happening. Demand for tablets skyrocketed in the first full year of the pandemic, which isn’t all that surprising – people locked themselves in their homes and struggled to keep themselves (and their families) connected.

Since then, people’s passion for tablets has waned – a recent report from research firm IDC predicts that the market for this type of gadget will shrink slightly over the next year. And as the costs of essentials like shelter, fuel and food remain high, people may be more sensitive than ever to how much they spend on good-to-have things like tablets.

This could also affect how people look at Apple’s new iPad Pros announced Tuesday. These new high-end models use the same M2 processor found in some of the company’s new laptops and include a new “highlight” feature for Apple Pencil users. Prices for Apple’s Pro iPad models start at $799 – which is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but that starting price remains the same as last year.

Our recommendation? Especially before the holidays, before pulling the trigger on an expensive tech purchase, take a breath and wait – you never know when a good deal will lift its head.

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