Apple known for its splashy product launch events, showed off new flagship devices in a virtual presentation to some journalists. In what may be the latest sign of how the coronavirus outbreak is upending the tech industry.
The Cupertino, California-based company, which currently has its staff working from home, unveiled updates to its iPad and MacBook Air line. Among the updates: faster processors, revamped cameras and new keyboards.
The product launch comes as the coronavirus outbreak slowed Apple’s momentum. Like many other companies, Apple warned that coronavirus would hurt its revenue.
The company’s new iPad Pro, available in 11 inches ($799) and 12.9 inches ($899), looks similar to its previous models but features a new Liquid Retina display, more powerful processor and a new ultra wide camera. It also packs a LIDAR scanner for camera depth sensing and to support augmented reality.
LIDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, sends out pulses that bounce off objects and return to the sensor, telling it how far away things are. It’s been long used in self-driving car technology and NASA is developing a landing system using LIDAR.
The MacBook Air is also getting an upgrade with what Apple says provides double the performance speeds and storage as its previous model, as well as TouchID and a new Magic Keyboard.
The MacBook Air, which starts at $999, will ship next week. The new iPad Pro also supports a new Magic Keyboard accessory ($299) with backlit keys and USB-C support. It ships in May.
Across the tech industry, companies have been forced to cancel or rethink their big press events and conferences. Google and Facebook both canceled major developer conferences.