Apple unveils new Macs, iPad ahead of holidays

AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezPhil Schiller

AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezPhil Schiller

Apple Inc. is refreshing its iPad lineup and slashing the price of its Mac computers ahead of the holiday shopping season, as it faces an eroding tablet market share and growing competition from rival gadget makers.

Apple unveiled a new, thinner, lighter tablet called the “iPad Air” along with a slew of new Macs Tuesday at an event in San Francisco. The iPad Air weighs just 1 pound, compared with 1.4 pounds for the previous version. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller called the tablet a “screaming fast iPad.” He said it is eight times faster than the original iPad that came out in 2010.

The iPad Air will go on sale Nov. 1 and start at $499 for a model with 16 gigabytes of memory. Apple plans to phase out its third and fourth generation iPads while the iPad 2, which launched in 2011, continues selling at $399. A new iPad Mini, meanwhile, will be available later in November starting at $399 for a 16-gigabyte model. It has a retina display designed to give it a clearer, sharper picture and the same 64-bit chip that powers the iPad Air.

The iPad's market share has been eroding compared with cheaper rivals running Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that Android tablets will end 2013 with a 50 percent share of the worldwide market versus 49 percent for the iPad. Just two years ago, the iPad commanded a 65 percent market share compared to 30 percent for Android tablets.

Apple sold 14.6 million iPads in the June quarter, down 14 percent from the same time last year. It was the first year-over-year decline in iPad sales. Nonetheless, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted that Apple has sold 170 million iPads since the tablets launched three years ago.

Tim Bajarin, a Creative Strategies analyst who's followed Apple for more than three decades, said the 64-bit chip in the new iPads makes them the most powerful tablets on the market. Keeping the iPad 2 on store shelves also makes sense, according to the analyst.

“That's the one that's a big hit in Asia and emerging markets,” Bajarin said. “It's still got a lot of traction.”

Apple also refreshed its computer lineup. A new, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is thinner and lighter, Schiller said, adding that the laptop has up to 9 hours of battery life, enough to watch the entire trilogy of 'The Dark Knight' on one charge. The notebook's new price is lower: $1,299, compared with $1,499 for the previous version.

A larger MacBook Pro, with a 15-inch monitor and 256 gigabytes of storage starts at $1,999, compared with $2,199 for the previous version.

The Mac Pro, a high-end desktop computer aimed at what Apple calls “power users,” will be available in December for $2,999.

The company also said that its latest computer operating system, Mavericks, is available free of charge.

“Between the iPad and iPhones, I think they'll have a monster holiday season,” Bajarin said.

Apple also gave updated statistics related some of its other products. The company said that nearly two-thirds of its mobile devices are running iOS7, the revised operating system it released in September. Twenty million people have listened to iTunes Radio about a month after its release.

Shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple slid $2.64 to $518.79 in afternoon trading following the event.

APPLE EVENT AT A GLANCE

Apple Inc. unveiled a pair of new iPads and a new MacBook Pro computer, among other products, at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday. Here are some product specifications:

_

IPAD AIR

SIZE: 9.4 inches tall, 6.6 inches wide and .29 inches thick

WEIGHT: 1 pound

DISPLAY: Retina display with a 9.7-inch touch screen

RESOLUTION: 2,048-by-1,536 for 264 pixels per inch

CHIP: A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor

COLORS: Black with space gray, white with silver

PRICE: $499 for a Wi-Fi-only 16 gigabyte model

AVAILIBILITY: Nov. 1

_

IPAD MINI

SIZE: 7.87 inches tall, 5.3 inches wide, .29 inches thick

WEIGHT: .73 pound

DISPLAY: Retina display with a 7.9-inch touch screen

RESOLUTION: 2,048-by-1,536 for 326 pixels per inch

CHIP: A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor

COLORS: Black with space gray, white with silver

PRICE: $399 for a Wi-Fi-only 16 gigabyte model

AVAILIBILITY: Late November

_

MACBOOK PRO – 13 INCH

SIZE: .71 inch thick, (when closed), 12.35 inches wide and 8.62 inches deep

WEIGHT: 3.46 pounds

DISPLAY: Retina display with 13.3-inch screen

RESOLUTION: 2,560-by-1,600 for 227 pixels per inch

PROCESSOR: 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

STORAGE: 128 gigabytes

CAMERA: 720p FaceTime HD Camera

BATTERY: Up to 9 hours wireless web, or 30 days standby

PRICE: Starts at $1,299

AVAILIBILITY: December

ApplebusinessiPadScience & Technology

Just Posted

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

National Weather Service flood watch in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (National Weather Service via Bay City News)
Storm pounds Bay Area, leaving over 145,000 without power: Closures and updates

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Most Read