Apple unveils iPad Air 2 and mini 3 – O2, EE, Vodafone and Three to stock

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iPad Air 2 hailed as the thinnest tablet on the market – at just 6.1mm, and now includes fingerprint recognition technology. Prices start from £319 for the mini 3 and £399 for the iPad Air 2.

Apple has unveiled its latest range of iPad devices, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3.

The new models (both running on iOS8), Apple’s sixth and seventh variations since 2010, are expected to go on sale next week – with O2, EE and Three confirming both models. Both are expected to go on sale next week.

Apple has sold more than 13 million iPads in its last quarter (ending June), and more than 200 million iPad’s to date.

All UK operators have now confirmed they will offer iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3  – although none could provide pricing and tariff details. Pre orders through Apple are now being taken.

Pricing in the UK starts from £319 for the mini 3 and £399 for the iPad Air 2 (full pricing, see below).

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iPad mini 3

Features 

The ‘aluminium’ iPad Air 2 is the thinnest iPad yet – at just 6.1mm thick and weighs 437 g (Wi-Fi model) and 444 g (3G/LTE model).

It features a 9.7 inch touch screen (1536 x 2048 pixels), an eight megapixel rear HD camera, 1080p HD video, 10 hour battery, A8X chip – which it says ‘unlocks realistic visual effects comparable to the most advanced gaming consoles’. It also includes touch ID for the first time – originally featured on the iPhone 5.

The iPad mini 3 includes a 7.9 inch screen with 5k retina display, touch ID sensor, dual-core 1.3GHz,  five megapixel camera, and a 10 hour battery.

Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller said: “iPad is a piece of glass that runs more than 675,000 apps specifically designed for it, and is thin and light enough that you can comfortably hold it all day; the new iPad Air 2 is packed with amazing new innovations, weighs less than a pound, and at just 6.1 mm is the thinnest tablet in the world.”

“iPad Air 2 has a new Retina display with anti-reflective coating, second generation 64-bit A8X chip, all-new iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, faster Wi-Fi and LTE wireless, and includes the revolutionary Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor.”

 

 

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iPad 2

Industry Reaction

Chris Tingley, Technical Director at Conjure, comments:

“The launch of the new iPads will be a welcome boost for Apple, but it’s questionable as to whether it will help the company’s falling year-on-year tablet sales. While Apple’s overall success in the market is undeniable, reports suggest we’ve reached “peak tablet”, and the company is facing tough competition from hardware manufacturers. We didn’t see the level of innovation from Apple that we saw last month, though it continues to maintain its appeal and slashing the iPad prices may be a shrewd move in response to cheaper Android alternatives.”

“It’s great that Apple is starting to integrate Touch ID sensors into its new tablet devices. Consolidating hardware specs like Touch ID will ensure that consumers can use the features and levels of security that they have become accustomed to as standard across devices. Enhanced graphics performance and the updated camera will also be welcomed by consumers, brands and developers alike.”

“While the iPad screen size has not changed, problems caused by maximising new specs and form-factor fragmentation will continue to trouble brands. The best brands and developers need to understand how consumers use each device, and develop apps so people can seamlessly switch between them wherever they are – whether they are using a tablet, phone or smartwatch.”

CCS Insight vice president research, Americas Geoff Blaber added:

“The new iPads are incremental updates but will be a welcome boost to a category that is struggling for growth and seeing increasing competition approaching the all-important holiday season”

 “The iPads alone are unlikely to rekindle long-term category growth for Apple. The big opportunity remains its partnership with IBM and the prospect of deeper, long-term iOS penetration into the enterprise”

 “Mac has been a huge success story for Apple, growing 18% in the last quarter as the PC market gasped for air. OS X Yosemite is yet another positive catalyst given deeper integration with iOS”

 “OS X Yosemite stands to deepen the integration of Mac and the broader Apple ecosystem, further strengthening demand for Apple hardware and content”

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iPad mini 3

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