It’s iPad time.

Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and Apple has begun lining up its new  devices including its latest entry-level iPad and iPad Air, which the tech giant revealed at an Apple launch event Tuesday.

The new eighth generation entry-level iPad starts at $329 and is $299 for education customers. The new iPad Air will have Touch ID on a side button.

Check back here for updates and more details.

Prior to the event, rumors pointed to an iPad Air refresh, with the device getting a larger screen without bezels and a similar design to the current iPad Pro model. Touch ID was expected to be moved to a side button to allow the front of the device to lose its home button. A better processor was expected to enable more augmented reality features. A switch to a USB-C connection, instead of Apple’s Lighting, was also rumored, following a similar change for the Pro.

While the iPad isn’t nearly as popular or profitable as Apple’s iPhone, it’s becoming a more critical part of Apple’s lineup during the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of customers upgrading their devices for work-from-home and remote learning setups. Showing that strength already, the tablet market posted a huge gain in the second quarter this year, after two prior quarters of declines. The PC market has seen a similar boost, even amid a global economic slowdown.

Like many companies, Apple has struggled with manufacturing and delivery delays driven by the coronavirus, which has upended billions of lives around the globe. In February, before the disease was widely detected in the US, Apple warned that the virus was slowing manufacturing and supplies in China. The country is a primary hub for assembling most of Apple’s devices and has struggled with manufacturing delays for the wider tech industry as well.

Apple’s upcoming phone, called the iPhone 12 in rumors, is likely to be hit by similar delays. Apple said in June it expected that the new iPhone would be released “a few weeks” later than normal, which means potentially pushing the iPhone’s launch into October or November.

Source Article