With Samsung slated to launch its flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 next week, Apple has refrained from having its usual March media event on American soil.
Instead, the Cupertino tech giant has opted to reveal new products via its online store: the red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, as well as a refreshed 9.7-inch iPad that replaces the ageing iPad Air 2.
The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are actually (Product)Red special editions. (Product)Red is a licensed brand owned by non-profit organisation Red that raises awareness and funds to help fight HIV/Aids through the Global Fund.
Dressed in a vibrant red aluminium finish, the lucky-red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus provide customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund. The special-edition (Product)Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available this Friday, March 24. Both iPhones will be available in 128GB and 256GB with pricing starting from $1,218.
At the same time, Apple refreshed its tablet line-up by replacing the iPad Air 2 with a 9.7-inch iPad known simply as the iPad.
This is an entry-level 9.7-inch iPad for those who want the size but not the price. It will be available in gold, silver and space grey this Friday. The basic 32GB Wi-Fi iPad is priced at $498, while the top-end 128GB Wi-Fi + 4G model will cost $898.
Finally, there is another subtle update. The 4-inch iPhone SE will be getting twice the storage capacity. Previously, it was available only in 16GB and 64GB versions. Now, it will be available in 32GB ($658) and 128GB ($828) as well.
Apple is widely expected to unveil an update to its flagship iPhone this fall that might have new features such as wireless charging, 3-D facial recognition and a curved display.
Apple also announced a new app for creating videos and sharing them with friends on its iOS devices. The new feature, along with extra iMessage features released in recent years, pushes Apple closer to competing with the features in social networking apps like Snap.
The new app, called Clips, lets users add captions and speech bubbles to videos and share them on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Apple's own messaging app, where videos can be sent to contacts with a single tap. But unlike Snap or other messaging apps, users can add captions to videos using their voice.
Additional reporting from Reuters, Bloomberg