Apple (AAPL) Announces New iPad, Free OS Software for PC & Laptop Users

Michael Teague  |

With the pressure from competitors on the rise, tech giant Apple Inc. (AAPL) held a media event in San Francisco, California on Tuesday morning in order to highlight a slew of new product releases.

CEO Tim Cook to share the company’s newest tablet product, the iPad Air, touting its main features such as speed- eight times faster than the original iPad ; weight- almost half a pound lighter; battery power- ten full hours; and design- similar to the iPad mini, the iPad Air has a sleeker, thinner body. Cook described the effort as part of the company’s quest to create the “next generation of iPad,” destined for a tablet market that is largely of its own creation, and of which it is firmly in charge, garnering some 81 percent of total tablet usage, though there have been some signs that the competition is starting to catch on in the same way as with smartphones.

Regardless how substantial are the improvements to the company’s signature tablet, what was perhaps far more consequential was the announcement regarding its new Mavericks OS X operating system, which will provide mac users with free OS and iWork software. The move will likely come as bad news to Microsoft (MSFT) , whose own troubles have been compounded by its inability or unwillingness to expand the appeal of its Office, Excel, and Word applications.

The Mavericks OS X can also been seen as the company’s response to the highly useable Google Docs (GOOG) application that, like all of Google’s services, is a practical, more intuitive offering with an emphasis on synchronization across devices.

The company also announced a new line of Mac notebooks and PCs, and Cook did not leave the stage before firing off a few rounds at its competitors in a projection of confidence, calling them confused, and dismissing their efforts: "Now they're trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they'll do next?"

Heading towards the close, shares for Apple edged down a slight 0.14 percent to $520.76 per share.

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