Apple unveiled new and upgraded versions of the full sized 9.7-inch iPad (now called iPad Air), and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. Both devices have new price points--the new iPad Air will sell for $500, while the iPad Mini will sell $400--and will ship in November.
The new full size iPad Air is now lighter, includes Apple’s faster and more powerful A7 processor, the new M7 coprocessor for better motion sensing for games, high res retina display screen, a much more narrow bezel, dual microphones for better sound and an upgraded wi-fi antenna. Apple also plans to continue to offer the iPad 2, without Retina Display, but at the lower price of $300.
The 7.9-inch iPad Mini has also been upgraded with retina display and the other improvements noted for the full size iPad device. Apple also plans to continue selling the original non-retina display iPad Mini but at the lower price of $300.
In addition, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that there are now more than 1 million apps in the App Store (up from 900,000 in June) and there have been more than 60 billion downloads and 60% of all iOS device are now running iOS7.
The market for tablet devices continues to grow. Apple’s much anticipated release of upgraded iPads comes on the heels of the release of newly upgraded tablet devices by Microsoft (Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2), Kobo (10-inch HD and 7-in HD Kobo Arcs) and Amazon (Kindle HDX) as well as plans by B&N to announce a new device probably in the next few weeks. In addition hardware manufacturers such as Samsung, HP, Nokia and others are also releasing new tablets into a marketplace crowded with low cost high performance tablet devices.