Apple’s i-devices can get very costly after iPad and Watch add-ons

Apple's i-devices can get very costly after iPad and Watch add-ons

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That new entry level $329 iPad sounded really cool when Apple announced it Tuesday.

It has a super-fast processing chip and is substantially faster than a Windows laptop, an Android tablet or a Google Chromebook.

That’s at least what Apple told us in its virtual presentation.

And as a pandemic-era tool for working or learning from home, it sounds like a relative bargain. Until you tally up the shopping cart.

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Somehow $329 grows to $956, before tax, once you add in extra storage, cellular connectivity, Apple Care and accessories like the Apple Pencil and a keyboard.

And if you think that’s a lot, can we interest you in the step-up model, the new iPad Air, with a larger screen, even faster processing chip, edge-to-edge display and the return of Touch ID?

That model starts at $599 – $100 more than the previous edition. But once we’re through loading it with add-ons, we get to $879 for the extra storage and cellular connectivity and a final tally of $1,376 pre-tax with the addition of Apple Care, the Pencil and a keyboard.

Remember that the 10.9-inch iPad Air isn’t even the most expensive iPad model. That would be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which starts at $799 but ends up, when fully loaded, at $2,256.

This, of course, comes from a company that turned heads when it introduced an updated computer in 2019, the Mac Pro, which, when loaded, would set you back only $60,000 or so. That also sold a “Pro Stand” for the companion monitor for just $999.

But let’s return to the new products announced Tuesday.

Apple won some kudos for introducing an economy-priced new Apple Watch, the SE, using the same name as the lowest priced $399 iPhone. The Watch starts at $279, compared to $399 for the new Series 6.

But those are just starting prices.

If you want to use the SE with cellular connectivity to be able to respond to texts and e-mails, answer phone calls, or share with the family in the new “Family Setup” plan, the Watch grows to $329 for the 40mm version watch face or $359 for 44mm face. And don’t forget to add $10 monthly for cell service.

The Series 6 Watch itself starts at $399 but grows to $529 with cellular service and the larger watch face. Finally, If you’re a fashion plate and want the finest edition of the Series 6, get ready to spend at least $1,499 before tax for the Hermes fashion models.

But have no fear, Apple does have some consumer bargains in there as well.

It also introduced a new subscription bundle, Apple One, which offers discounts to consumers who agree to pay for multiple subscription services, including Music, TV+, News+ and Arcade.

The pricing is confusing: $14.99 for a limited group of services, or $29.99 for everything. Apple says you’ll save $6 on the entry-level offering, which offers Music ($9.99), TV+ ($4.99), Arcade ($4.99) and the $1 offering of 50 GB of iCloud. The “Premier” offering adds the new Fitness+ ($9.99), News+ ($9.99) and 2 TB of iCloud ($9.99). Savings: $25.

But did you really want even more subscription services to keep track of?

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter

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