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Apple exec explains confusing iPad lineup but forgets one of the best models

Published May 13th, 2024 8:08PM EDT
M4 iPad Pro features
Image: Apple Inc.

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With the M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air being released later this week, Apple still offers a confusing iPad lineup – don’t even get me started on Apple Pencil models. However, one of the company’s top executives, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, explained why the iPad Pro has the design of an iPad Air, and which device users should focus on.

In an interview with YouTuber Arun Maini, the executive said Apple doesn’t need to change product names because of some tweaks (iPad Pro getting thinner and lighter and the iPad Air getting a larger version). He said, “iPad Air really kind of developed itself to be the product in the iPad lineup that took what were previously Pro features and brought them down to an even more affordable price.” That said, “Air” for Apple doesn’t mean light anymore. Instead, it means “affordable.”

He reinforced this by saying the iPad Air now offers the previously exclusive M2 chip of the iPad Pro and its larger display. “Even a 13-inch size, you could say, was a Pro feature and brought it into the more mainstream price.”

Joswiak also explained the confusing iPad lineup but forgot about one of the best models.

iPad 10: After the Let Loose event, Apple heavily discounted the price of this iPad as it had discontinued the iPad 9. It now starts at $349 and offers “basic iPad functionality. It’s the things you love in an iPad at a very affordable price.”

M2 iPad Air: It’s like an iPad Pro but more affordable, so you can do all you need without paying extra. Or, in Joswiak’s words: “iPad Air takes those previously Pro features at a more mainstream price.”

M4 iPad Pro: If price is not an issue, Apple is glad to offer everything it can to please high-end users. For example, the Ultra Retina XDR Display doesn’t exist anywhere else. With that, the iPad Pro is “always pushing the edge to be the very best iPad it can be, and then hopefully someday, you’ll see those then migrate through the line.”

That said, Apple forgot about the iPad mini. Refreshed almost three years ago, it still has a better chip than the current iPad 10. It offers a new design, but the camera is placed vertically – although this iPad might never change to a landscape mode orientation.

iPad mini 6 is still a solid option, even though Apple has forgotten about it

Apple iPad Mini 2021 Back
Apple iPad Mini 2021 Back Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Since the Let Loose event, people have mentioned buying an iPad mini “immediately” if Apple added an M-series chip to this tablet. However, it won’t change how you use it. After all, you can edit a video on this product, but should you? Not really.

The iPad mini 6 is perfect for reading the news or books, playing casual games, doing light photo editing, and using the Apple Pencil, which doesn’t work with the iPhone. With that in mind, I would say the weirdest product in Apple’s iPad lineup at the moment is the iPad Air, as it’s kind of Pro but also kind of basic.

This is why I think Apple should focus on two base-model iPads, two iPad Pro sizes, and the iPad mini. Still, these are just my thoughts. Cupertino is expected to update the iPad mini later this year, so maybe, by then, its executives will remember its tiniest iPad available.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.