New iPads, Apple Watch Series 7 unveiled

As well as its new iPhone 13 range, tech giant Apple unveiled new iPads and an upgraded Watch during its 'California Streaming' live video earlier today.

But the much-rumoured new AirPods 3 featuring a shorter stem were missing from the showcase.

The new iPad Mini features what the company described its "biggest upgrade ever" and now comes with an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display offering a maximum 500 nits of brightness.

It runs on the A15 Bionic Chip that also powers the new iPhones offering, according to Apple, 80 percent faster graphics processing compared to the last iPad Mini.

The charging port, previously just a Lightning connector, has been upgraded to USB-C, increasing the range of products that can be plugged directly into it as well as increasing speed of data transfer by 10 times.

For the first time the Mini supports the second generation Apple Pencil and also has a new stereo speaker system when in landscape mode.

The 12MP ultra-wide front cameras on both the new iPad and iPad Mini allow Apple's 'Centre Stage' feature on the lower specification models for the first time. This means during video calls, as users move around, the camera automatically pans and zooms to keep them in view.

The entry-level iPad with 10.2-inch retina display contains the older A13 Bionic chip, only has a 8MP camera on its rear, compared to the Mini's 12MP rear camera, and only supports the first generation Apple Pencil.

The 2021 iPad Mini range colours offered are space grey, pink, purple and starlight.
The new iPad Mini range colours: space grey, pink, purple and starlight. Photo credit: Apple

The new Apple Watch Series 7 will compete with the likes of Samsung's new Watch4 and Watch4 Classic models, released in Aotearoa earlier this month.

As predicted, while the overall size of the latest Apple Watch is similar to last year's, the visible screen is bigger, offering a 20 percent display size increase and a reduced border.

A full QWERTY keyboard is included in the Watch 7 for the first time, with the larger size allowing for 50 percent more text on screen, Apple says. New dynamic watch faces are also said to take advantage of the big display.

They also have a softer edge with a more rounded corner and will offer new green, blue, product red, starlight and midnight colours.

Apple Watch
Photo credit: Apple

The new watch is the first in Apple's range to have IP6X certification for resistance to dust, along with its WR50 water resistance rating. Samsung's Watch4 series offers IP68 certification, allowing them to withstand dust, dirt and sand, and are water resistant to a maximum depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes.

While no increase in battery life was announced, Apple says the new watch will charge 33 percent faster than the Watch 6 range, taking 45 minutes to get to 80 percent full. Eight minutes of charging will allow up to eight hours of sleep tracking, the company says.

Pricing details and availability for the Watch 7 series in Aotearoa have yet to be confirmed, with Apple's website only saying they will be "available later this year". This is likely due to the rumoured production halt Nikkei Asia reported on earlier this month.

New iPad NZ pricing and availability:

  • The iPad Mini is available in 64GB and 256GB versions in four colours - space grey, pink, purple and starlight. Prices start at $849. Both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions will be available.
  • The iPad is available in 64GB and 256GB versions in two colours - space grey and silver. Prices start at $569. Both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions will be available.

The new range is available to pre-order now before they're released on September 24.