Apple announces new iPad Pro with M4, iPad Air tablets


(AP) — Apple on Tuesday unveiled its next generation of iPad Pros and Airs — models that will boast faster processors, new sizes and a new display system as part of the company’s first update to its tablet lineup in more than a year.

The showcase at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, comes after the company disclosed its steepest quarterly decline in iPhone sales since the pandemic’s outset, deepening a slump that’s increasing the pressure on the trendsetting company to spruce up its products. Apple is expected to make a much bigger splash next month during an annual conference devoted to the latest version of its operating systems for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers — software that analysts expect to be packed with more artificial intelligence technology.

Both lines of new iPads add bells and whistles but have adjusted prices to match. The iPad Pro sports a new thinner design, a new M4 processor for added processing power, slightly upgraded storage and incorporates dual OLED panels for a brighter, crisper display. Prices have been hiked to match its new offerings, with the 11-inch model going for $999 and the 13-inch model fetching $1,299.

The new iPad Air has the faster M2 chip, boasts a new design, more base storage, a new 13-inch display option and a recentered camera. It will also support use of the new Apple Pencil Pro, which was a function previously exclusive to the Pro models. The 11-inch display will sell for $599 while the new 13-inch model will fetch $799.

However, Apple did announce a price reduction for its 10th generation iPad, which will now retail for $349, down from $449.

Apple is trying to juice demand for iPads after its sales of the tablets plunged 17% from last year during the January-March period. After its 2010 debut helped redefine the tablet market, the iPad has become a minor contributor to Apple’s success. It currently accounts for just 6% of the company’s sales.

“The enhancements were both needed and predictable, in a maintenance sort of way, and may help stanch some of the revenue loss in that product line,” Forrester Research analyst Dipanjan Chatterjee said of the new iPads. “But it’s nothing to get terribly excited about.”

All the new models will be available in stores starting May 15, with preorders beginning Tuesday.

 (Reuters) - The manager of an Apple Inc (AAPL.O), opens new tab retail store in Manhattan violated U.S. labor law by asking an employee whether he supported a union campaign, a federal labor board has ruled in its first decision involving the tech giant.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a single-page ruling late on Monday said the manager's questioning of the worker, who had raised concerns about pay at a group meeting, amounted to unlawful interrogation and upheld a decision by an administrative judge.
The Democrat-controlled board also affirmed the judge's ruling that Apple illegally barred workers at the World Trade Center store from distributing union flyers.
Apple, which has denied wrongdoing, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company can appeal the decision to a federal appeals court.
At least two Apple stores in the U.S. have unionized since 2022, and unions are working to organize several other locations including the World Trade Center store.
Workers and unions have filed more than two dozen complaints with the NLRB accusing Apple of a range of unlawful conduct. At least three of those cases are pending before administrative judges, including claims that Apple has refused to bargain at a unionized store in Oklahoma City.
Apple has denied wrongdoing in those cases. In Monday's case, the company had argued that the store manager had no intention to threaten the worker and her questioning of him was not the type of extensive interrogation the board had found unlawful in previous cases.

The board in a footnote in its decision said the manager's intent was irrelevant. The ruling requires Apple to post notices at the store informing workers that it violated the law and informing them of their legal rights.

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