Apple Unveils iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina

At its press event in San Francisco, Apple unveiled updated versions of its iPad and iPad mini, new Mac Pro laptops and desktops, and its new OS X Mavericks. The full-size iPad has become thinner and lighter, and now sports a new model name -- the iPad Air.

The Air, with a 9.7-inch Retina display, weighs one pound, less than the 1.4 pounds of its predecessor, and, at 7.5 mm, is now 20 percent thinner. The bezel surrounding the screen is 43 percent narrower, so the screen encompasses virtually the entire surface. Apple describes it as the EUlightest full-sized tablet in the world.EU

The 7.9-inch iPad mini now has a retina display and processing power quadruple that of the original mini, and Apple said the screen was 35 percent larger than screens on other 7-inch tablets. Both iPads are built around the Apple-designed A7 64-bit chip. In the Air, the company said the power-efficient A7 allows the battery to be smaller, reducing overall volume by nearly a quarter.

MIMO Technology

Both devices feature two antennas with multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) technology, which provides twice the previous Wi-Fi performance at speeds up to 300 Mbps, and both have next-generation Facetime HD cameras with better low-light capture.

The iPad Air with Wi-Fi starts at $499 for the 16GB, and $629 for the model with both Wi-Fi and cellular. The iPad mini starts at $399 for the 16GB with Wi-Fi, and $529 for Wi-Fi with Cellular. The Air goes on sale November 1, and the mini in late November.

The company, which defined the tablet category and is still the market leader, has seen its shipments drop 14 percent in the second quarter, while its market share is now 32 percent compared to about 63 percent for Android-based tablets. A year ago, the iPadEUs market share was 60 percent.

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