Apple Inc. introduced a larger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen, designed to attract business users and jump-start demand for its tablets.
The iPad Pro is faster than 80 percent of the personal computers shipped in the past 12 months and has 10 hours of battery life, the company said. The new iPad Pro has many characteristics of Microsoft Corp.’s Surface tablet, including a case that doubles as a keyboard. Apple also introduced a stylus for the device, called Apple Pencil.
The iPad Pro costs $799 for a 32 gigabytes of memory, $949 for 64 gigabytes and $1,079 for 128 gigabytes. The Apple Pencil costs $99, while the keyboard cover will retail for $169. These products will be available in November.
“It’s the most capable and powerful iPad we’ve ever created,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said onstage Wednesday at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
Apple showcased several iPad Pro applications for businesses. Microsoft demonstrated how Powerpoint and other Office features can be used on the tablet, and Adobe showcased design software. Both companies’ applications take advantage of the larger screen ability to show multiple applications open at the same time.
Apple’s family of tablets also includes the 9.7-inch iPad Air and 7.9-inch iPad mini.
The Cupertino, California-based company is also expected to unveil an update to its iPhones and a revamped Apple TV set-top box at the event. The September gathering is Apple’s most anticipated annual gathering, and highlights the company’s gadgets and services ahead of the holiday shopping season.
IPad unit sales fell 18 percent in the three months that ended in June, the sixth straight quarterly decline. The new larger-screened tablet is designed to appeal to corporate customers looking to use the device as a replacement for a laptop computer.
The company also gave an update on Apple Watch, which went on sale in April. New software for Apple Watch includes several new apps made by outside developers. Facebook Inc. is releasing its Messenger app for Apple Watch, and GoPro is making an app available that will work as a viewfinder for seeing what a person is filming with one of the company’s cameras. Another app, AirStrip, helps doctors monitor patients’ vital signs. The new version of the operating system for the watch will be available Sept. 16.
The company also unveiled new watch bands, including one made by the fashion company Hermes, and new watch colors -- rose gold and aluminum.
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