Apple unveils bigger iPad, new Apple Pencil
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple says its new iPad will be available in November.
The larger-screen iPad Pro model is aimed at countering weakening consumer demand for tablets.
The iPad was a runaway success when it was introduced in 2010, but sales have been declining since 2013. In part, that’s because competitors are now selling a number of lower-priced tablets that use Google’s Android software.
But sales of rivals’ tablets have been getting weaker, too. Analysts say some users are finding tablets aren’t well-suited for tasks that are easier to perform on a PC with a keyboard and mouse. And many consumers don’t see a need to upgrade their old tablets as often as they upgrade phones.
In response, Apple has tried to cultivate more iPad customers in the business world. It has partnered with IBM to develop new iPad software for workers in specific industries, such as airlines and health care.
At an Apple event in San Francisco on Wednesday, an executive from Apple’s former rival, Microsoft, demonstrated the iPad Pro’s productivity potential using Microsoft Office and other apps. Other companies showed off using the iPad Pro for creativity tasks and health care — including an app for doctors to show patients what’s happening with 3-D graphics.
The starting price is $799, with 32 gigabytes of storage. By contrast, the iPad Air 2 starts at $499, but the starting model has half the memory.
The Apple Pencil stylus will cost $99, while the physical keyboard accessory will cost $169.