Apple unveils thinner, lighter iPad

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple unveiled a new, thinner, lighter tablet called the “iPad Air” along with a slew of new Macs ahead of the holiday shopping season as it faces growing competition from rival gadget makers.

The Cupertino, Calif. company made the announcements 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, while the iPad 2 will continue selling at $399. A new iPad Mini, meanwhile, will be available later in November starting at $399 for a 16-gigabyte model.

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.

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 Black 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.

Apple also says 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.

More in Herald Business Journal

Somers sees Paine Field as focal point of a thriving county

In an annual speech, he also acknowledged challenges such as opioid addiction, crime and homelessness.

Starbucks commits $10M for greener coffee cup

The company is testing a new bio-liner, made partially from plant-based material.

Can Zuckerberg’s media blitz take the pressure off Facebook?

The generally reclusive CEO sat for an interview on CNN and gave another to the publication Wired.

Professor: Workplace is 5th leading cause of death in the US

Long hours, lack of health insurance, little autonomy and high job demands are killing us.

Microsoft announces major solar buy in Virginia

The tech giant has plans to get 60 percent of its data center energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Facebook mishandles election data flap, crisis experts say

“Facebook has been too late. Facebook has done too little and has been too legalistic”

Will thousands of new apartments in Snohomish County mean lower rents?

Experts debate the meaning of a recent price drop, one of the biggest decreases in more than a decade.

As expected, 92 to be laid off by Stanwood’s Twin City Foods

The frozen-vegetables processor announced last year it was moving all operations to Pasco.

Mother-in-law homes popular after cities ease restrictions

Lynnwood and Everett are seeing a spurt of growth after changing city codes to allow for this development.

Most Read