As expected and long-rumored, Apple has finally taken off the wraps and announced new iteration of its highly successful iPads at an event in US. The new iPads unveiled are – 5th generation iPad Air with 9.7 inch Retina Display and new iPad Mini upgraded with Retina Display.
The thinner, lighter and redesigned iPad Air looks a lot like the iPad mini. According to Apple, iPad Air is thinner than a pencil, and the lightest full-sized tablet in the market. The Apple iPad Air is just 7.5mm thin , and is 20 per cent thinner than the outgoing model – the iPad 4, which was 9.4 mm in thickness. The weight of iPad Air is 1 pound (450 grams) down from 1.4 pounds. The bezel on the side of this tablet has been reduced to make it 43 percent narrower than the previous version.
To make iPad Air faster, Apple has employed the same processors, which was introduced on its latest iPhone 5S iPhone. The iPad Air is also powered by new A7 chip like the iPhone 5s, which Apple claims will make this tablet eight times faster than before. The chip is 64-bit which allows for faster processing. Similarly, the iPad Air comes with the M7 motion co-processor, like the iPhone 5S, and this will make graphics processing 72 times faster than the original iPad . The iPad is equipped with 5 megapixels iSight camera and a 1.2 megapixel front camera.
For Wi-Fi, iPad Air uses two antennas instead of one and with MIMO( multiple-input and multiple-output) technology, iPad Air delivers up to twice the Wi-Fi performance of its predecessor. And the Wi-Fi + Cellular model supports more LTE bands than ever.
The iPad Air will go on sale starting November 1, and will be available in Space Grey, White, Black, Silver colours. The price start at $499 for 16 GB Wi-Fi only model and $629 for the Wi-Fi plus cellular model. The iPad 2 will continue selling at $399 for 16GB variant.
The new iPad Mini with 7.9-inch has been upgraded with Retina Display and will now feature 2,048-by-1,568-pixel resolution, which is the same as the resolution on the full-size iPad. Like iPad Air, this tablet will also be powered by the new A7 chip, M7 co-processor . It has the same camera specifications and Wi-Fi features, which are available on iPad Air. The major difference is the size of the screen only.
The Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display will come in two colours – Silver and Black. The price of the iPad Mini 2 (16GB WiFi only) will come at $399, and 16GB Wi-Fi + cellular connectivity will cost $529. This tablet will go sale by end of November. The original iPad Mini without Retina Display will now be available for $299.
According to Apple, they have sold 170 million iPads since the tablets launched three years ago. The company claims to have sold 14.6 million iPads in the June quarter, down 14 percent from the same time last year. The iPad’s market share has been eroding compared with cheaper rivals running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Although Apple is getting intense competition from Android tablets especially of Samsung and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, yet they are still the leader in tablet segment and would remain so, because of its popularity and ease of operations and around 4,75.000 tablet-centric iOS apps. No tablet has the capability so far to topple the iPads.