APPLE yesterday unveiled the much-anticipated iPad mini in a bid to protect its lead in the tablet market against threats from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
The company also announced an updated, fourth-generation iPad just seven months after the previous version was unveiled, along with a host of updates to its computer lineup.
However, Wall Street investors were disappointed at the pricing of the iPad mini. The device – which features a 7.9-inch screen against the iPad’s 9.7 inches – will cost $329, or £269 in the UK. This is at least £70 more than similarly-sized competitors the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7, and only £60 cheaper than the full-sized iPad.
As soon as the price of the iPad mini was revealed, Apple’s shares dropped, and they ended the day more than three per cent down.
Despite being pricier than its rivals, Apple claimed to have the edge. Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing, compared the iPad mini against Google’s Nexus 7, emphasising its sleek profile and weight. “Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they’ve failed miserably,” Schiller said.
Chief executive Tim Cook also unveiled an updated iPad as he revealed that Apple had sold more than 100m tablets in the two and a half years since its release. The fourth version features a faster processor, the new “lightning” power connector used in the iPhone 5, and wider support for new mobile networks, including the UK’s first 4G network that opens next week.
The devices will go on sale on Friday 2 November.