An entry-level iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard -- like Microsoft, Apple is not bundling the two -- will thus run $968, or nearly as much as a 13-in. Retina-less MacBook Air, which also boasts 128GB of SSD (solid-state drive) storage.
Apple also dropped the price of the iPad Mini 2 to $269, and introduced an iPad Mini 4 at $399.
Returning to the stage, Cook walked the audience through the revamping of the Apple TV, a business that the company has formerly called just a "hobby."
"I'd like to talk about an even larger screen, and that's your TV," said Cook at the start of the segment. "The future of TV is apps," he argued, adding, "We believe it is the future of television."
The new Apple TV and remote with Siri. Credit: Apple
The Apple TV features a redesigned user interface (UI) and a new remote that allows both touch -- with the glass surface built into upper section of the device -- and voice, via Siri, Apple's digital assistant technology long available in the iPhone, at a press of a button.
Its new operating system, which Cue called tvOS -- apparently Apple's new nomenclature is to drop a lowercase description in front of "OS," as in "watchOS" for the Apple Watch -- is "based on iOS, and built for the living room."
Like Cook, he talked up the app angle for the Apple TV and tvOS, briefly showing stills of the HBO, Netflix and Hulu apps, as well as the Guitar Hero game. Cue then handed things over to several developers who demonstrated upcoming games, several of which originated on the iPhone.
The new Apple TV will be priced at $149 and $199 for 32GB and 64GB storage models, respectively, and will slide in above the existing $69 device. Developers will receive a preview of tvOS today; the new Apple TV goes on sale next month.
The new iPhones
Ninety minutes into the event, Cook finally got around to the new iPhones. "How do you follow the success of [the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus]?" he asked, acknowledging that he "had been asked that question a few times," referring to Wall Street's skepticism that Apple will be able to reproduce the strong sales of the 2014 models.
Apple's new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Credit: Apple
The new smartphones, tagged as the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus -- following the usual "off-year" monikers -- are completely new, Cook maintained, even though externally they look identical to last year's versions.
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