SAN FRANCISCO — Apple introduced new iPads in time for holiday shoppers, as it battles to stay ahead of rivals in the increasingly crowded market for tablet computers.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook debuted a new iPad mini with a high-definition screen, as well as a thinner and lighter design for the larger iPad named the iPad Air. The device is set to go on sale on Nov. 1, with prices starting at $499.
“This is just the beginning for iPad,” Cook said to a crowd of media and technology-industry insiders at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. “We have been busy working on the next generation of iPad.”
In the year since Apple last updated its product, companies including Samsung Electronics, Asustek Computer, Google and Amazon.com have unveiled new tablets, often at lower prices.
The competition adds pressure to Apple because the iPad is its second-largest source of revenue after the flagship iPhone. Success of the new models will be critical as the Cupertino, Calif.-based company attempts to reignite revenue growth, which has slowed.
Apple also introduced new free Mac software on Tuesday, called Mavericks. The company showed an updated high-end Mac Pro desktop computer aimed at professions needing extra computing power, such as graphic design and film editing.
“We still believe deeply in this category and we’re not slowing down on our innovations” in Macs, Cook said.
Apple is updating its products ahead of the lucrative holiday shopping season. As part of the lineup, new iPhones were released last month.
Yet more than three years after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, the company is working to adjust to what he called the “post PC” era, where preferences have shifted from personal computers to mobile devices.