Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled a new suite of products, including new additions to its iMac desktop and iPad tablet computer ranges as part of a shift towards its new in-house computer chips.
Overnight, the tech giant released a recorded video featuring its chief executive Tim Cook outlining the new products and services, including AirTag tracker devices, Apple Card Family, a payment service that allows two people to own an Apple credit card to build a collective credit history, and a new paid-subscription capability for its podcast app.
The most significant development is the company’s new iMac, which while being thinner than the existing machine will be the first in the range to use the company’s own M1 computer processors, currently in use in its Macbook Air and MacBook Pro laptops as well as its Mac mini computers.
The use of the M1 in the iMac will be seen as a key test of the chips processing power when faced with more demanding tasks reserved exclusively for desktop computers over laptops.
Other new features included in the new iMac include new power adaptors as well as a fingerprint scanner added to a new Bluetooth keyboard which will allow biometric logins.
Meanwhile, the new iPad Pro will also use the M1 chip and follows a surge in demand for tablets during the home working boom caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Apple profited massively from the surge as its iPads account for over a third of the tablet computing market.
Apple also said that the use of the M1 computer processor in its iPad computers, rather than an altered version of the chips used in its iPhones, will speed up performance.
The new product ranges will form part of Apple’s attempt to hold onto solid profitability increases experienced in the first quarter of its current year, which saw the company report over US$100bn for the first time following double-digit growth across all of its product categories.
In a note on Tuesday, analysts at broker Wedbush, which rates Apple at ‘outperform’ with a US$175 price target, said the rise of home working last year has seen “a major renaissance of growth” for Apple, adding that with less than half of iPad users estimated to have gone through a refresh last year, there will be “some clear pent-up demand that these new iPads will unleash in the next few quarters thus giving Apple another product tailwind”.
“While chip shortages linger, we believe Apple has a yellow brick road of growth ahead led by its iPhone supercycle and new product launches (today’s event adds to the lineup) across its entire hardware ecosystem”, Wedbush said.
Apple shares were 0.5% lower at US$132.47 in pre-market trading in New York on Wednesday.