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Apple unveils new iMac and iPad with in-house M1 chip

Supply chain crunch holds back deliveries until late May

Apple's new iMac, powered by its in-house-designed silicon, starts at $1,299. (Photo courtesy of Apple)

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Apple showed off a colorful new iMac desktop and a new iPad Pro, both powered by the company's in-house-designed M1 chip, at the company's first launch event of 2021 on Tuesday.

Livestreaming from headquarters in Cupertino, California, executives touted the speed of the M1 -- the first Apple silicon especially for the Mac -- which is based on technology from British chip design house Arm.

Apple rolled out the M1-powered MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac Mini last November. The new iMac continues the desktop line's move to the chip family, which was unveiled last year and is replacing Intel processors as the brains of the Mac.

The new iMac desktop starts at $1,299 and comes in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue and silver. The rainbow harks back to the similarly colorful original iMac of the late 1990s.

Apple also introduced its first M1-powered iPad at the virtual event. The new iPad Pro will be 5G-capable, another first in the company's tablet lineup, and starts at $799.

"The new iPad is a tough sell," said Leo Gebbie, a senior analyst at U.K.-based CCS Insight. "Despite numerous updates, including the M1 chip, the previous generations of iPads are strong enough to make this is an iterative update when compared to the new iMac."

While both the new iMac and the new iPad Pro will be available to order April 30, the products will not ship until the second half of May.

Nikkei Asia reported this month that production of some MacBooks and iPads had been delayed over the global components shortage.

At Tuesday's event, the U.S. technology giant also introduced Apple Card Family, a way to share its credit card; the Apple Podcasts Subscriptions service; a next-generation Apple TV 4K; and the AirTag, a smart accessory for tracking personal belongings using the Find My app. The company announced a new color -- purple -- for the iPhone 12 lineup.

Nasdaq-traded Apple shares closed down nearly 1.3%.

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