The tech giant Apple has unveiled a slew of new products including new computers, tablets, a paid podcasting service, and devices for tracking down lost items, signaling the company’s once-simple product line’s ongoing expansion into more and more areas of customers’ lives.
Analysts have hailed the latest $30 AirTags, tiny gadgets that can be attached to items like keys and wallets to help find them if they go missing, as a sure-fire hit that would keep the company’s more than 1 billion customers locked to its products.
A new iPad Pro tablet, which uses the same Apple-designed processor that powers the company’s more recent Mac computers, comes with keyboard and trackpad options, allowing it to function as a full-blown replacement for traditional laptops and desktops.
A new Mac desktop range includes seven color choices, harkening back to the iconic candy-colored Macs that helped Mr. Steve Jobs revive the company in the 1990s.
The announcements demonstrate how, despite increased government scrutiny of major technology firms’ influence and scope, Apple is expanding its product range and working to keep consumers loyal to its family of products.
The latest iMacs, which start at $1,299, have a higher-quality front-facing camera and microphone, in response to customer concerns that the computer’s cameras had not kept up with iPhones and iPads during a period of pervasive video calls during the pandemic.
Mr. Bob O’Donnell, Head of TECHnalysis Research remarked that “Apple cameras in their computers have been terrible, frankly. They finally have a reasonable camera in the iMac. The new colors were likely to stand out in a market dominated by black, white, and silver machines. For right now, it feels fresh and new.”
The new iPad Pros, which start at $799, use Apple’s M1 chip, rather than the beefed-up version of iPhone chips found in previous models.
The tablets have a higher-quality display than the company’s laptops, as well as additional ports for connecting displays and 5G networking.
Analysts believe the new iPad Pro models, when combined with Apple’s keyboard and trackpad accessories, may be a compelling laptop replacement, especially for content creators and business travelers.
However, those accessories raise the price to nearly $1,100, making it more expensive than Apple’s cheapest laptop, the $1,000 MacBook Air.
Apple also revealed podcast streaming services to compete with Spotify Technology SA, a move to regain ground in a market it popularized years ago but never made money from.
Apple shares have risen nearly 95 percent in the last year, outpacing the Nasdaq Composite Index’s 63 percent gain, thanks to a record $274.5 billion in fiscal 2020 revenue as customers loaded up on electronics during the pandemic.
Apple has stated that all apps, including its own, are subject to the same App Store review guidelines, and that third-party developers have recently been granted access to the same systems as its AirTags.
American Raymond James analysts Mr. Chris Caso and Ms. Melissa Fairbanks pointed that AirTags “could grow to become a $10 billion opportunity, similar to AirPods.”
According to Creative Strategies’ President Mr. Bajarin, iPhone owners who rely on the tags to keep track of daily products are more likely to stay with Apple’s brand for a longer period.