iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and iMac revealed by Apple

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Yesterday, Apple unveiled new and improved tablets.

The electronics giant showed off its new iPad Air 2 its iPad Mini 3 and new iMac with retina display at the Town Hall Auditorium within the company’s Cupertino HQ campus on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

The new tablet design is thinner and faster.

The iPad Air 2 is slimmer and faster than its predecessor and it s a quarter inch “thin”. More specifically it is 6.1 millimeters, making it 18% thinner compared to the original iPad Air. It is equipped with many features previously available on iPhones, such as the ability to take slow-motion video and burst shots. The rear camera has been enhanced from 5 megapixels to 8 megapixels, just like the cameras in iPhones. Also, instead of unlocking the device with a passcode, it can now be unlocked with a fingerprint ID, making it more secure.

In addition, Apple’s new 27-inch iMac, dubbed the “Retina 5K” model has a shaper display with seven times the pixels found on standard high-definition TV sets. This may make the new high-resolution iMac appealing to consumers who primarily watch television over the internet. It went on sale Thursday.

The company also released its new Yosemite operating system for Macs, which was made available as a free download starting Thursday. The OS update includes new functionality, such as a one-stop search tool for online resources and locally stored documents, as well as the ability to make telephone calls with a nearby iPhone.

iPad Air 2 will be facing competition from cheaper tablets.

Apple has had a drop in iPad sales. During the first half of 2014, the company shipped 29.6 million iPads, which is a 13% decrease from the same time in 2013. Part of the reason for the decrease in sales is there has been a slowdown in tablet demand.

Also, Apple faces competition from cheaper Android-powered tablets. In fact, on Wednesday, Google announced its 8.9 inch Nexus 9 tablet which runs off Android’s newest operating system Lollipop and will be available next month and is $100 cheaper than the latest version of the iPad Air. However, Apple did announce that it will be lowering the prices of the earlier version of its devices, making them “more affordable”.

According to Apple’s senior vice president, Phil Schiller, the iPad Air 2 will cost US$499 and the iPad Mini 3 will be US$399. Advanced orders for the devices will start today and the tablets will be shipped next week.

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