As a potential buyer this has gotten far too complicated for a product and company that is about simplicity and making decisions simple for their customers.
And isn't super confusing that the Air is probably now faster than the Pro (with the A14 vs. A12)?
The current product catalog is a far cry from that simplicity. For instance, the iPad Pro comes in two sizes. Inexplicably, customers need to choose between a 32 GB and 64 GB model of Apple TV 4K. There are 5 models of iPhone currently offered.
As they climbed out of crisis, they expanded their product portfolio. The iPod alone violated this famous grid, and if you look back, over time there were a ton of overlapping products, versions, options, and accessories in the iPod category.
Why? To fill out all the price point tiers and deny competitors ground from which they could establish differentiated products and grow from there. Jobs himself installed this strategy, and Apple continues to execute it to great success across all their product lines.
The chip generation offset isn't all that uncommon for similar Apple product lines with staggered releases, and in this case both chips are staggeringly fast and are very unlikely to be a bottleneck for iPad workloads!
Also: Moto Z3 had a fingerprint sensor on power button and it was by no means great. For me, fingerprint sensor works well only on front side, so I can unlock a device that lays on a table, without picking it up.
Optical sensors require you to light up (with a green/neon light) the portion over the sensor on every use, which just looks unpolished.
Ultrasonic sensors are not very accurate and are slow (at least on current-gen devices).
My ultrasonic sensor on my Galaxy S10 is absolute garbage compared to Face ID on iPhones. It works 1/3 of the time and it's slow.
Realistically ultrasonic is the technology Apple would go with, considering how lighting up a patch of screen is just... Ugly.
There's another problem: FP sensors don't cover the entire display. There's a huge learning curve -- getting used to where that small patch of screen is -- and even today, months after getting my new device, I miss often.
We're only now having issues with FaceID because we're wearing masks all the time. It's intuitive and it "just works".
There are also many new phones with very large sensors that basically cover most of the bottom half of the screen.
Personally I still think a rear or power button based sensor is superior to under the screen, but hey progress is progress.
I'm drinking my coffee skimming through morning news. I get distracted, phone locks up. Now, on Moto Z I need to just touch it and it works again. On iPhone, no, it won't unlock at all while it is lying on the table.
On learning curve: you exaggerate the hugeness of the learning curve. When I upgraded my Moto Z play for Moto Z4, I learned... Well, maybe in 30 seconds during device calibration. Now, I've had some experience with side button fingerprint sensor on Moto Z3, and it was the reason I decided to skip upgrade that year. You see, the phone always moves when you try to unlock it, unless it is secured somehow to stay in place (by your other hand or by assuming some pose where it doesn't move)
(Can't say anything about Samsung, I'm boycotting this manufacturer since 2010)
I personally preferred Face ID over Touch ID pre-COVID, since I would be able to unlock my phone even if I had wet fingers.
In the end I've come around to preferring this setup. Not being tethered to my device is, in the end, really pretty nice.