Apple has trumpeted the newest version of its tablet, the iPad Air 2, which it stated was the thinnest device ever on the market.
It is 6.1mm (0.24in) thick, and also acquires a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It incorporates an anti-reflective coating on the screen for the first time – including the A8X – a speedier version of the processor spotlighted in the firm’s current iPhones. Anyway, some analysts have raised doubts whether the upgrade will be sufficient to turn around iPad sales. iPad Mini 3 another upgraded version of the firm’s smaller tablet – was trumpeted as well. Identical to its bigger sibling, it carries the company’s fingerprint recognition component. However, it deploys the older A7 processor and incorporates a lower-resolution rear camera.
As per reports some of the features were published by Apple, accidentally, on Wednesday. Apple’s most recent earnings release disclosed that it had sold 13.3 million iPads in the April-to-June quarter. That indicated a 9% drop on its tally for the same period in 2013, regardless of the fact the company saw sales of iPhones and Mac computers rise. It also differed from an 11% jump in the number of tablet shipments across the market as a whole – with Lenovo and Asus registering huge gains – as per data from IDC. The market research firm asserted that the iPad was the top-selling tablet brand, but it showed a fall in market share over the year from 33% to 26.9%.
One expert advised the recent launch of the 5.5in (14cm)-screened iPhone 6 Plus, which incorporates almost all features of the new iPad, could further tamper demand. “Given that Apple’s launched larger iPhones, it needs to find a market that the iPad Mini fits into,” said Jitesh Ubrani from IDC. ‘It was a reaction to the market as a whole turning to smaller tablets. And now that phablets are showing a growth in not just screen size but also in market size, unless Apple cuts up a unique place for it, we anticipate sales of the Mini in particular to be cannibalised quite a bit.”
Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has assured investors he firmly believes that the tablet market will finally outclass that of PCs, and has pointed to a fresh deal with IBM – encompassing the two firms teaming-up to develop business-centric apps – as a ploy to get iPad sales on “a faster trajectory”. Mr Ubrani admitted that targeting businesses had vast potential, but cautioned that sales to consumers would remain a bother.
People who own the old iPad 2 or more newest versions are pretty happy with these devices – they are still working perfectly fine,” he said. “There’s really no reason to upgrade.” Some upgraded features of the iPad Air 2 include: an eight megapixel rear camera that can now SHOOT slow-mo videos at 120 frames per second. The front camera has been revamped to let in more light and take a rapid succession of selfies. Plus, the machine carries a new version of wi-fi chip that supports faster data speeds, inclusive of downloads at up to 866 megabits per second (Mbps).
“It is depressing – specially to enterprise buyers – that there wasn’t a 12.9in [32.8cm] iPad model,” stated JP Gownder from research firm Forrester, who otherwise lauded the update. “Getting back iPad to high growth, would require form factor innovation.” The latest tablets will be up for sale from next week at similar prices to before.
Apple also trumpeted a fresh model of its multitasking iMac computer featuring what it heralded was the highest resolution display on the market. The computer incorporates a 27in (68.6cm) screen with a resolution of 5K – 5210 by 2880 pixels – offering about five times the detail of a “full HD” 1080p television. That stands for four times the number of pixels found in the standard iMac of the same size. The base model will sell for $2,499 (£1,555).
Lenovo already sells the N308 – a multitasking Android-powered desktop PC having a 19.5in (49.5cm) screen providing a bit lower 4K resolution, while Panasonic has the Toughpad MB5025 – a 20in (50.8cm) 4K computer that runs Windows 8. Intel and Samsung too have announced intentions to build 4K screens for other all-in-one PCs.
Otherwise, big ultra-high definition display are still a rare thing in the computing world beyond the use of discrete monitors, which may help demand for the new computer. “There is plenty of difference in quality once you start moving through the various sets of screens,” opined Ranjit Atwal, research director at the tech consultancy Gartner.”The consumption of online videos is massive, and the quality people get from services like YouTube and Netflix on 4K TVs is pretty high, so they want the same kind of quality on a PC as well.”
Apple added that people performing visual productivity tasks, such as photo editing, would also get lots of benefit from the innovation. Apple also announced revamped version of its screenless computer, the Mac Mini, however, didn’t mention an update to its Apple TV set top box, that last got a hardware upgrade in March 2012.
The company also announced that the newest version of its operating system for Mac computers – OS X Yosemite – was being offered for download this Thursday.
The software lets data to be passed back and forth with iOS-powered iPhones and iPads more easily than earlier. The design of its user interface is inspired by higher resolution screens. The company announced that version 8.1 of iOS, which introduces support for its near field communication (NFC)-powered payment service Apple Pay, would be unveiled on Monday.