Latest iPads Aim to Help Apple Regain Tablet Momentum

Apple, facing tough competition in the tablet market, has unveiled a new line-up of iPads that feature its mobile payments system and include the fingerprint unlock used on iPhones.

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The California tech giant said its new iPad Air 2 would be thinner than its rivals, with upgraded graphics power and other features.
The new line-up aims to help Apple regain ground in a tablet market increasingly dominated by the rival Android platform.

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Latest iPads Aim to Help Apple Regain Tablet Momentum

Apple said its mobile payments system known as Apple Pay, allowing iPhone and iPad users to tap their devices to pay at retailers, would begin operations on Monday with more banks and merchants on board.

iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 is 18 per cent thinner than its predecessor, Apple said as it unveiled the new device at its Cupertino, California headquarters.

The new design at 6.1 millimeters (0.24 inches) "makes it the world's thinnest tablet," the company's Vice-President, Phil Schiller, said.

"It's so thin you can stack two of them and it will still be thinner than the original iPad."

The aluminium-body tablet uses a new A8X processor, and boasts up to 10 hours of battery life. It weighs 435 grams (0.96 pounds) and has twin cameras capable of producing high-definition videos.

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The new slimmed-down tablet comes after last year's iPad launch prompted rivals to say they had a slimmer profile.

The new tablet comes with a more powerful processor that delivers livelier graphics, improved battery life and Touch ID, the fingerprint unlock system that Apple introduced last year on its iPhones.

Apple also upgraded its smaller tablet, called the iPad Mini 3, which will also have the Touch ID system.

Pricing will start at $399 for the new iPad mini, and $499 for the iPad Air 2. Apple will cut prices for the current iPad models.

Apple chief Tim Cook said the iPad has been wildly successful, with 225 million units sold in the four years since the initial launch.

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But in a tablet market that is cooling, the rival Android platform has been gaining share.

According to Strategy Analytics, Android grabbed 70 per cent of the tablet market in the second quarter, to 25 per cent for Apple, even if it remains the largest single vendor.


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