Apple reveals slimmed-down 'iPad Air'

23/10/2013

Apple has unveiled iPad Air, a slimmed-down version of its tablet, priced at between £499 and £739, as the firm looks to boost sales amidst increasing competition in the burgeoning sector.

Watch this video from the Daily Telegraph showing the event highlights below:

The fifth generation of the device will be available from November 1.

The tablet, which was launched at an event in San Francisco, weighs around 470g, is 20% thinner than its predecessor and comes in three colours - white, silver and black.

It will run iOS 7 and features a 9.7-inch Retina display, as well as a more powerful processor, although the fingerprint scanner included with the iPhone 5S does not replace the home button.

The cheapest wifi-only model, which comes with 16GB of storage, will be priced at £399, while the 128GB version will cost £639. A higher-priced £739 is capable of connecting to a mobile network.

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"We really believed in our vision, and iPad has gone on to become one of the most successful products in Apple's history and one of the most successful in the industry," he said. "Now everyone seems to be making a tablet, even some of the doubters."

As well as the iPad Air, Apple also announced that its newest iPad mini, which features a 7.9-inch Retina display, will be priced at £319.

iOS update with ‘Mavericks’

An update to Apple's OS X operating system, known as Mavericks, as well as improvements to its iWork and iLife suites of programmes, will be available free of charge.

The OS X update overhauls the iBooks service, offers a revamped Calendar and adds Maps to desktop and laptop devices for the first time.

Apple claims the software will improve the battery life and speed of its desktop and laptop devices.

The launch came on the day Nokia revealed its first ever tablet, the Lumia 2520.

It follows the release of cut-price gadgets including Tesco's £119 Hudl and the £99 MyTablet, which is available at Argos.

Apple also used the event to launch a new range of MacBooks, starting at £849 for the 11-inch Air, up to £2,199 for the 15-inch Pro.

A new Mac Pro desktop computer will be available later this year, priced at up to £3,299.

Commenting on the launch, Shingo Murakami, MD at Rakuten’s Play.com commented: “The invention of the Apple iPad was a watershed moment for mobile commerce, it was instrumental in shifting the balance from browsing to buying through mobile devices. Mobile, including tablets now accounts for one in three visits to Rakuten’s Play.com website, up 109 percent year on year and one in ten sales is now on a tablet device.

“At Rakuten’s Play.com we are seeing a shift in purchase patterns towards discovery shopping, where tablet browsing on social sites is informing real world sales. We’re excited to see what’s next from Apple, especially as we expect tablets to account for a considerable chunk of the expected $119billion global mobile sales estimate by 2015.”

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