Apple Inc. has unveiled new iPads that are more powerful and thinner than their predecessors which it hopes will prod users to replace their older tablets and personal computers.
The iPad Air 2 is 18 percent thinner than its predecessor and includes a more powerful processor and graphics engine, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It features Touch ID which allows users to buy items within apps using the Apple Pay payment service and acts as a security feature.
The changes may prove underwhelming for many consumers but could appeal to businesses, Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder said.
For example, the screens come with an anti-reflective coating that promises to make the tablets more useful for field workers. The new iPads also offer the ability to switch between data plans for cellular connectivity.
Apple also unveiled the iPad Mini 3, which also comes with Touch ID, and a new iMac personal computer.
Also, the company showed off its new OS X operating system for Macs, which became available free to existing customers on Thursday. The new mobile operating system, iOS 8.1, will be available Monday.
Apple plans to take orders for the new iPads on Friday and begin shipments next week. The iPad Air 2 starts at US$499 while the iPad Mini 3 starts at US$399.
Apple cut the starting price of its previous iPad Minis to US$249 for the original version and US$299 for last year’s model.
Apple is preparing a larger 12.9-inch iPad with a high-resolution display, the repot said, citing people familiar with the matter.
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