Apple has announced the 5th generation of its iPad, the iPad Air, also known as the iPad 5, and will be available from the 1st November 2013, with a starting price tag of £399. Coming in at a weight of merely 469g (1 pound) the company is claiming it to be the ‘lightest full-sized tablet’ on the market. The display will remain at 9.7 inches, but is 20% thinner than its predecessor with a thickness of 0.3 inches (7.5mm).
The launch of the product, which coincides with the time in which expert analysts believed Google’s Android would outsell Apple’s iOS, will be joined by the release of the new iPad Mini with retina display (increased resolution).
The iPad Mini’s new display will have a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, matching that of the larger models.
Tony Cripps, Principal Analyst at Ovum, commented,
‘We’ve got the retina upgrade to the smaller iPad that many thought should have been there in the first place […] Market share slip is inevitable because so many rival devices are coming out, which is not necessarily a bad thing as the overall sector is growing […] Apple does now have a cheaper model thanks to it offering the original iPad Mini at a lower price, but the firm doesn’t really want to go to the low-end because that’s not where the greatest profit is extracted.’
Apple furthered the announcement with the revelation of its latest Mac operating system, Mavericks, which will be available free of charge to existing users of any OS X released since 2009. Dissimilar to Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 which is on the market for around £100, although Windows 8 users can obtain the upgrade for free.
Despite Apple’s iPad range accounting for £17.6bn ($25.8bn) worth of sales in the 9 months prior to July, this year, the business is losing market share to its rivals.
According to Gartner, in 2012, Apple led with its iPads making up 53.9% of all tablets shipped, however they predict that this year will see a shift with Android becoming the market leader with a 49.6% share, against Apple’s 48.6%, a gap that they forecast widening into 2014.
Although, consultants at IHS iSuppli believe that these figures need to be put in to context, Jack Kent (HIS iSuppli’s Mobile Media Analyst) said,
‘It is in terms of revenue per active device where Apple’s lead is strongest […] An iOS device generates around three to four times as much app revenue through Apple’s App Store as an Android device through Google Play […] Apple has so far offered a more compelling range of tablet-specific content, but Google is clearly looking to address this’.
Source: BBC News