Apple has announced its first new iPad mini in nearly four years, complete with support for the firm’s Apple Pencil stylus for the first time.
The 7.9-inch screen device has been upgraded to house Apple’s latest A12 Bionic chip, which the tech giant says has given it three times the performance power of the previous generation, as well as graphics processing that is “nine times faster”.
The smaller tablet has been resurrected just as Huawei and Samsung unveiled their first foldable smartphones, both of which can be opened out to create screens similar in size to the iPad mini.
Apple confirmed it is available to order from today, starting at £399, and will be in Apple stores next week.
The new device was announced alongside a refresh of another Apple tablet – the iPad Air – which has also been given Apple Pencil support and the artificial intelligence-powered A12 Bionic chip.
It will start at £479, the company said.
Apple’s Phil Schiller said the two new devices would give potential tablet buyers greater choice.
“The iPad continues to provide magical new experiences for a growing range of uses where it is the absolute best device, from playing games in augmented reality to note-taking and drawing with Apple Pencil, from streaming HD movies and editing 4K films to learning to develop apps with Swift Playgrounds,” he said.
“Today the iPad family takes two big leaps forward with an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Air that brings high-end size, features and performance at a breakthrough price, and a major upgrade to the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which also brings Apple Pencil, Retina display and the A12 Bionic chip to the many customers that love its compact size.”
The technology giant is also due to hold a live event next week, when it is expected to announce a new TV and film streaming service to rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Industry commentators have suggested Apple is looking to expand on its services business – which currently includes its Apple Music streaming platform – in the wake of falling iPhone sales.