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Apple wants to give the iPad a boost

Dan DeFrancesco   

Apple wants to give the iPad a boost
  • This post originally appeared in the Insider Today newsletter.

Hello! This Sunday is Mother's Day, which I'm sure you already know. But just in case it slipped your mind, here are some last-minute gift ideas.

In today's big story, we're looking at the new tech Apple's set to unveil at its event.

What's on deck:

But first, Apple is showing off some new toys.

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The big story

Apple's other new tech

Apple's unveiling new products today, but they're not the ones you might be thinking of.

The tech giant's event will reportedly showcase a new family of… iPads and iPad accessories.

The crowd goes mild!

You're forgiven if you weren't aware iPads were still a thing, let alone getting updated. Apple's tablet didn't upend industries like the iPod or iPhone.

But Apple's event, which kicks off at 10 a.m. EST, is looking to give the iPad a boost. Business Insider's Antonio Villas-Boas has a rundown of what to expect.

The tablet's main issue has been its existence in a no-man's land. Less powerful than a computer but not much better than a mobile phone, the iPad has a limited set of specific use cases. The new iPads will reportedly feature better displays, a thinner design, and a MacBook processor.

(Personally, my iPad primarily serves as a second TV when my wife gets sick of me watching sports in the living room.)

The update comes not a moment too soon for Apple. iPhone sales have noticeably dipped, which is why you're hearing Apple tout its "services" business, writes BI's Peter Kafka.

But even that's a bit of a misnomer. A good chunk of that growing "services" business is the billions of dollars it receives from Google for giving the search engine prime real estate, Peter writes.

And the new product Apple wants you to be excited about — the Vision Pro — hasn't lived up to the hype. One of the biggest issues, writes BI's Katie Notopoulos, is that it's unclear what the headset should be used for.

It's not all bad news. Apple reported strong earnings last week, and, more importantly, pulled Wall Street's favorite lever: buybacks.

Apple still has some exciting things in the pipeline.

AI, naturally, is a big one. All eyes are on how the tech will be integrated into the iPhone. Apple has remained tight-lipped, with CEO Tim Cook only teasing a big AI announcement in the "coming weeks."

I decided to ask Katie what she'd like to see out of the Apple event today:

"New iPads aren't really too exciting unless you're already planning to buy a new iPad. (I'm not planning on it, and if I was, I'd probably get an iPad Mini, which isn't expected to get an update at this event.)

But I am curious to see if the new iPad Pros will have the latest M4 chip, which isn't even in MacBooks and Macs yet. If it is, we'll get a peek at what it's capable of when it comes to regular computers later on.

I'm also looking forward to watching the livestream, because even if the Apple Pencil is kind of boring (to me), these Apple events are always fascinating: a huge marketing spectacle that always has some subtle clues about how Apple wants to position itself."

3 things in markets

  1. Blackstone's $114 billion real-estate fund has veteran analysts worried. The private-equity giant found success pitching ordinary investors on BREIT, a commercial real-estate fund. But some veteran analysts, accountants, and investors believe Blackstone's estimates of BREIT's assets are wildly inflated, making it essentially a house of cards.

  2. You thought your interest payments were bad… The US government is shelling out $2 million a minute for interest payments on its debt. The first three months of the year saw the US Treasury foot a $234 billion bill in interest expenses.

  3. Recession watch. Official data from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows a promising trend — that economic slumps are becoming less common. But some analysts, including veteran forecaster Danielle DiMartino Booth, are warning that the recession might already be here as job cuts accelerate.

3 things in tech

  1. Jack Dorsey's in his "I love Elon" era. Dorsey has loved and hated Elon Musk over the years. Now it looks like he's fawning over the Tesla CEO. Most recently, Dorsey announced he was no longer on the board of Bluesky, a prominent rival of Musk's X.

  2. Satya Nadella could prove Microsoft doesn't need OpenAI. The company is reportedly working on its own in-house AI model called MAI-1. Its successful development could prove Microsoft doesn't need ChatGPT maker OpenAI to get ahead in the AI wars.

  3. Tech titans have weird management habits. From Jeff Bezos' "two-pizza rule" to Mark Zuckerberg wearing the same outfit every day, here's a round-up of the unconventional practices employed by some of the world's best-known CEOs.

3 things in business

  1. Nuclear power + data centers = "perfect marriage." Data-center operators like Amazon have sought out nuclear power to fuel soaring growth. Nuclear execs see it as a boon, but energy experts worry about the implications for the power grid.

  2. How much Warren Buffett lost on Paramount. The Berkshire Hathaway investor says he lost "quite a bit of money" betting on the media company. He didn't disclose how much money he lost, but we tried doing the math. It could be around $1.5 billion.

  3. a16z joins the Big Tech "fake work" debate. In an interview published Monday with Emily Sundberg for her Substack newsletter "Feed Me," Andreessen Horowitz general partner David Ulevitch called Google "an amazing example" of a corporation employing people in "BS jobs." Around half the tech giant's white-collar staff probably do "no real work," he added.

In other news

What's happening today

  • Today's earnings: The Walt Disney Company, Reddit, and other companies are reporting.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin will be inaugurated today after winning elections in March.

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, senior editor, in London. George Glover, reporter, in London.

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