We got the first hint Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was up to something last night, when the Apple Store went down for maintenance. Then the “We’ve got something special for you” notice showed up. At 8:30 a.m. ET, we learned what AAPL was up to overnight.
The rumored red iPhone 7 has been added along with a new iPad to replace the iPad Air 2.
Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s latest product releases.
Red iPhone 7
Apple’s product launches this morning, apparently didn’t warrant a special event. But the red iPhone 7 is a first. It’s part of the company’s (PRODUCT)RED line that contributes to the Global Fund to Fight Aids. Going red is a way to stretch interest in the current iPhone 7 lineup until the new iPhone 8 is ready to go in September.
When it comes to strategies for sparking new interest in an old device, adding a new color option is just about the easiest way to go.
Like the Jet Black model, the red iPhone is a special edition that is available only on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models with 128GB of storage or more.
iPad Air Finally Gets an Update
AAPL hasn’t updated the iPad Air 2 in several years. 2014-era hardware is a tough sell for consumers, even if it is at a reduced price. Now called simply the “iPad,” it keeps the 9.7-inch form factor, gets a 64-bit A9 processor and starts at just $329. This new iPad is aimed squarely at consumers, both in price and the new flat-out fun” tagline.
New Apple Watch Bands + Clips
This is a bit of a yawner, but AAPL also threw in some new Apple Watch bands. If you own an Apple Watch and you’re hankering for some fresh new spring looks, Apple has you covered.
It’s not a new hardware product for sale, but AAPL also unveiled Tips, its new app for shooting short, “fun” videos on iOS, complete with special effects and soundtracks. Clips is made for those who live to share funky videos through social media.
What About That April Special Event?
All signs had been pointing to an Apple Event in April. Presumably, this would be to show off new iPad releases and to celebrate the official opening of AAPL’s new Apple Park “spaceship” campus.
Today’s new product reveals on the Apple Store should not negate the possibility that rumored special event will still happen. The company wants to make a splash about Apple Park, and its Steve Jobs Theater — which is intended to be the site for Apple product launches going forward.
And we didn’t see any of the new iPad Pro models AAPL is working on show up today. One of these is expected to be an all-new model that could debut some of the technology and design cues from the iPhone 8, a near bezel-free display and a virtual Home button among them.
Those new iPad Pros could well be the first new product launch at the Steve Jobs Theater and would provide AAPL the opportunity to hint at what’s to come with the new iPhone 8 in September. Even hints about the iPhone 8 could help to take some of the shine off rival Samsung’s Galaxy S8 launch.
In the meantime, if you want a red iPhone 7 or the new iPad, you can get them starting March 24 on Apple’s website and in Apple Stores. The new Apple Watch bands are available now.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.