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Apple invents Airtags, packs iPad Pros with faster chips, slims iMacs,

apple tim cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) announced on Tuesday a range of new computers, a paid podcasting service and devices for finding lost items, signaling the continued expansion of its once-simple product line into more and more corners of customers’ lives.

The new $30 AirTags, tiny devices that can be attached to items such as keys and wallets to locate them when they are lost, were applauded by analysts as a likely hot-seller that would also keep the company’s more than 1 billion customers locked into its products.

“Apple today introduced AirTag, a small and elegantly designed accessory that helps keep track of and find the items that matter most with Apple’s Find My app. Whether attached to a handbag, keys, backpack, or other items, AirTag taps into the vast, global Find My network and can help locate a lost item, all while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

A new iPad Pro tablet, featuring the same Apple-designed processor that powers the company’s more recent Mac computers, has keyboard and trackpad options that help make it a full-blown alternative to traditional laptops and desktops.

And a refresh of the Mac desktop line boasts seven color options, harkening back to the famous candy-colored Macs that helped Steve Jobs revive the company in the 1990s.

The announcements show how the iPhone maker is accelerating the expansion of its product portfolio and working to keep customers committed to its family of devices even as government scrutiny of the power and reach of major technology firms intensifies.

Most of the product introductions had been telegraphed before the presentation, which had no major surprises. Shares of Apple were down 1.3%, slightly more than the 1% drop in the Nasdaq index.

The new iMacs, which start at $1,299, feature a higher quality front-facing camera and microphone, responding to complaints from consumers during the pandemic that the computer’s cameras had not kept pace with iPhones and iPads during an era of pervasive video calls.

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