Apple Launches iPad Air

iPad-Air1Apple unveiled a variety of new and revamped products on Tuesday before the upcoming holiday shopping season that is faster, thinner, and lighter than any of their older products while upgrading and allowing for free upgrades with their software.

Apple introduced the iPad Air, a sleek new tablet that has a 20 percent reduction in thickness, a 28 percent reduction in weight, and 24 percent less volume.

The iPad Air has the same 9.7 inch screen as older versions and is powered by the same A7 processing chip found in Apple’s latest iPhone 5 S.

The A7 chip makes iPad Air up to 2 x faster than the previous generation in both CPU and graphics performance.

Improved camera quality will also be found in the iPad Air that carries a 5-megapixel iSight camera and a FaceTime HD camera with an improved sensor for better video calls.

The software works intelligently with the new display.

Using a touch-rejection algorithm, iPad Air recognizes if your thumb is simply resting on the display while you’re holding it or if you’re intentionally interacting with the multi-touch screen.

The iPad Air will go on sale on November 1st and carries a price tag of $499.00 for its 16 GB model operating on WiFi and $629 for a 16GB with 4G LTE connectivity.

It will come in silver, white, and space gray.

Apple’s 2011 updated version, the iPad 2, launched in 2011, remains priced at $399.

Apple dropped the price on the older iPad mini to $299 from $329 while announcing it will sell a revamped iPad mini later in November that adds a Retina display and comes with a faster A7 chip.

The iPad mini has a 7.87 inch screen and costs $399.00 for WiFi at 16 GB and $529.00 for WiFi + cellular.

Apple also unveiled a new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

The MacBook Pro comes with several upgrades, including Retina display, faster processing, and a longer battery life.

Apple’s iWork and iLife, which are office and creative software, are now free with the purchase of every new Mac.

Apple launched 6 new Apps:  iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote that are now free with every Mac and iOS device.

Apple is also giving away its Mac operating software, Maverick, in contrast to Microsoft which charges money for most of its software systems and is seeing slower revenue from Windows due to weaker PC sales.

Apple Is Losing Tablet Market Share

According to IDC, Apple’s iPad is facing growing competition from a host of global competitors and is losing global market share from tablet rivals that include Samsung, Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, et al.

In 2Q 2012 Apple had 60 percent market share while this year in 2Q 2013 Apple’s market share fell to 32 percent.

According to IDC, Apple’s weaker level of iPad shipments is attributed in part to the lack of new products launched in the first quarter of 2013 ending in March.

Apple’s iPad remains the world’s top selling tablet during the second quarter of 2013.

According to FY 2012 revenue by product, twenty percent of Apple’s revenue came from the iPad compared to 50 percent from its iPhone and 15 percent from Macs.

The remaining 15 percent came from revenues generated from iTunes, iPod, and other accessories.

Microsoft and Nokia

On Tuesday Microsoft unveiled  its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets.

Nokia also launched its own Windows 8 tablet, the Lumia 2520.

The Surface 2 begins at $449, while the more powerful Surface Pro 2 is listed at $899.

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-John Schweitzer

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