AFP
SAN FRANCISCO-Apple revved up its iPad line on Tuesday as it moved to fend off rivals which have eroded its dominance in the sizzling tablet market. A slimmer version of its top-selling full-size tablet computer, dubbed the “iPad Air,” was announced along with a revamped iPad Mini with an improved high-definition display. Apple shares fell as investors reacted to a lack of fresh products, but some analysts remained upbeat after the US tech giant unveiled upgrades to its tablets, notebooks and desktop computers along with free software to sweeten the deal. “I think it is going to be a really strong holiday for Apple,” Gartner analyst Van Baker said after spending some hands-on time with the California company’s newest devices.
“The highlight of the day is the breadth of Apple’s announcement; this is apps, tablets, MacBooks, Mac Pro, software... It is very wide ranging.” The new iPad Air is 43 percent thinner than the version it replaces, weighs just one pound (450 grams), and is “screaming fast,” Apple vice president Phil Schiller said at the unveiling in San Francisco. The upgraded iPad Mini has a high-definition “retina” display along with faster computing power and graphics. Both new iPads feature the Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit “desktop-class architecture,” Apple said.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said he was not troubled by competition in the tablet space. “Everybody seems to be making a tablet,” he told the audience. “Even some of the doubters are making them.” But he said that notwithstanding sales figures, “iPad is used more than any of the rest, and not just a little more, a lot more.” The iPad “is used over four times more than all of those other tablets put together, and this is what is important to us. People use it, and what is even more important to us, is people love it,” he said.