Apple’s new iPad Air 4 will cannibalize the 11-inch iPad Pro

Apple on Tuesday introduced an all-new iPad Air — the most powerful, versatile, and colorful ever. Now available in five gorgeous finishes, iPad Air features an all-screen design with a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, camera and audio upgrades, a new integrated Touch ID sensor in the top button, and the powerful A14 Bionic for a massive boost in performance, making this by far the most powerful and capable iPad Air ever made. The new iPad Air will be available starting next month.

The new iPad Air features a completely new thin and light design in five gorgeous finishes: silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
The new iPad Air features a completely new thin and light design in five gorgeous finishes: silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.

Evan Niu for The Motley Fool:

Earlier this week, Apple showed off the new iPad Air 4 at its virtual product event, and the tablet is sure to eat into iPad Pro sales.

Is the 11-inch iPad Pro worth $200 more? The differences between the iPad Air 4 and the 11-inch iPad Pro are negligible. The iPad Air 4’s display is 0.1 inch larger, the camera system is less advanced and lacks lidar, there’s no ProMotion technology for 120 Hz refresh rates, and there is no TrueDepth camera for Face ID. Are those features worth the $200 difference in price?

Additionally, the iPad Air 4 has Apple’s latest and greatest silicon, the A14 Bionic chip that will very likely power the next iPhone, as well as the first Arm-based Mac that’s due out this year. The iPad Pro released earlier this year is powered by an A12Z Bionic chip, which is just the same chip from 2018 but with a dormant GPU core activated. The A14 is arguably two years ahead of the higher-end model’s processor.

It’s more important for Apple to grow the iPad installed base — Cook disclosed this week that 53% of iPad buyers are new to the tablet — and monetize those users for the long haul with services.

MacDailyNews Take: It doesn’t matter as long as they’re buying an iPad and that iPad is capable of delivering subscription services, optimally, Apple One Premier.

If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will. — Steve Jobs

17 Comments

    1. Or, it’s going away. Hard to say unless we know the sales numbers for all models…I’ve got an 2020 iPad Pro 12.9″ and most folks I know with Pro models own the larger of the two. Just a guess. Likely wrong like most 🙂

  1. I’m getting a bit uncomfortable about Apple talking about services over and over again. It’s fine as a add on BUT…

    If it gets to the point we’re it becomes Microsoft…we’re I have to pay a monthly fee for features like Video play back…I’ll be willing to move platforms

    1. Agreed if Apple really cared about it’s called customers it would’ve offered numerous options by which a user could pick and choose which services they wanted they’re pushing right to Apple one which is a waste not impressed with Tim Cook‘s Apple these days. Just money grubbers

  2. One of the attractions of the iPad has been all the nifty software that comes out for iOS/iPad OS vs the Mac. Well if Macs will be able to run software that was previously iOS only in the future, why do we have iPads again? An iPad Pro 12.9 maxed out is $1700. A MacBook Air similar configuration is $1700.

    Using an iPad is just fun (for me anyway). I get that excited feeling I used to get when first starting out on the Mac. That “This is so cool” hit.

    Now here comes the iPad Air with pretty much everything that the iPad 11 has, for $200 less. Is Apple setting it so that the iPad is always cheaper than a Mac? Which platform is for whom?

    1. The iPad looks to have been a practice run for hybrid Macs in the not so distant future, WWDC was a hard turn away from iPad, the latest, weak OS is proof. The iPad Air pricing is smoke and mirrors, there is no 64GB iPad Pro anymore, for $200 less you’re getting half the storage, less RAM and a half-dozen less features than the 2020 11″. The “savings” all goes into Apple’s profit margin.

    1. Ok I will byte.

      The oblivious move for Apple to cannibalize the iPad Pro is to free up the LIDAR sensors so CCP China can use the laser scanners to laser capture the Rich dull republicans, that always buy the most expensive products, to capture there digital likeness. while sparing the smart democratic demographic, that is up on the latest tech with an eye towards getting the most bank for the buck will be spared from the CCP biometric harvesting fest. Obviously Apple is helping CCP make a robot army of rich republican replicas

  3. The new iPad Air is not better than the 11″ iPad Pro it’s replacing. It will provide higher profit margins for Apple though by removing Face ID for the clunky Touch ID, no 120hz display, a slightly smaller screen in the same footprint, slightly thicker, an inferior camera, no flash, no Lidar and though it’s unconfirmed, you’re almost certainly getting 4GB of RAM instead of 6. Putting the A14 in the Air isn’t Apple’s love note to it’s customers, that processor will be in hundreds of millions of devices soon, it’s the one psychological play Apple has to make customers think they’re getting a more advanced device while it won’t make any difference. You bet you’re going to notice the gorilla arm you’ll get from reaching for that touch sensor a 100 times a day though.

    The 256GB iPad Air, the one most people will want over the paltry 64GB, costs nearly as much as the 128GB 11″ Pro. The 128GB iPad Pro really hit a sweet spot, but Apple realized they weren’t profiting enough so the marketing department went to work. Many people think that Apple just released an iPad Air in the $599, in fact the play is to sell stripped-down iPad Pros for $749 + the Apple Pencil for $129 + the Magic Keyboard for $299 + Apple Care, etc.

    1. If you’re a pro user you don’t want an iPad in the first place. The iPad in general is a huge waste of money and was only a way for Apple to sell yet another device people don’t need. Buy one of the Macs and be done with it

      1. Need since when is it about need? In most cases it’s about want and desire. And I love my iPad Pro so what’s your point? And I never use it for professional purposes I wouldn’t even think of it you are correct it is not a professional device for most people. But it’s awesome!

  4. 120Hz makes all the difference. It will be weird when they release the new iPhones; 120Hz and an extra camera is the main differentiator between iPad Air and pro, but only the cameras and casing material differentiate between the iPhone and pro.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.