Splashy rollout for Apple's newest iPads
Apple is refreshing its iPad lineup and slashing the price of its Mac computers ahead of the holiday shopping season, as it faces growing competition from rival tablet makers.
Apple unveiled the new, thinner, lighter ''iPad Air'' along with a slew of new Macs at an event today in San Francisco.
The iPad Air weighs just one pound -- about half a pound lighter than the previous version.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller says it's eight times faster than the original iPad that came out in 2010 -- calling it "screaming fast.''
The iPad Air will go on sale November 1st and start at $499.
A new iPad Mini with a Retina scan will be available later in November starting at $399.
Apple also added a new, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display that is thinner and lighter -- as well as $200 cheaper than the previous version.
The Mac Pro, a high-end desktop computer aimed at what Apple calls "power users,'' will be available in December for $2,999.
The company also says it's its latest computer operating system, Mavericks, is available free of charge.
The iPad's market share has been eroding compared with cheaper rivals running Google's Android operating system and sales were down 14 per cent in the June quarter from the same time last year.
It was the first year-over-year decline in iPad sales.