Business / Tech

Apple debuts thinner iPad Air 2 tablet with fingerprint sensor

KYODO

Apple Inc. unveiled a more powerful and thinner version of its tablet computer called iPad 2 with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on Thursday, with pre-orders starting Friday for customers in the United States, Japan, China and more than 30 regions.

“It is the thinnest iPad we have ever made, just 6.1-mm thin. … It makes it the world’s thinnest tablet,” the tech giant’s senior vice president, Phil Schiller, said at a special event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, to announce the device. “The new iPad Air 2 is so thin, you can stack two of them and still be thinner than the original iPad.”

The new tablet will have Apple’s new A8X chip, which will make its processing power about 40 percent faster compared to the previous generation. It will have a new 8-megapixel camera, and the screen will have an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare.

Apple also announced that a new version of its smaller iPad mini tablet with Touch ID will go on sale at the same time.

In addition to silver and “space gray,” the new tablets will also come in gold. The price of the iPad Air 2 and the new iPad mini in the United States starts at $499 and $399, respectively.

“With so many people using iPad for so many things in so many different places, it’s not surprising that we’ve sold more iPads in the first four years than we’ve sold of any product in our history,” CEO Tim Cook said, adding that over 225 million iPads have been sold since it debuted in 2010.

Meanwhile, the company also unveiled a Retina 5K version of its iMac desktop computer with a high-resolution display that has 14.7 million pixels. Apple says its newest iMac will have 67 percent more pixels an ultra-high-definition 4K display.

Apple also said its new mobile payment system called Apple Pay that utilizes near-field communication technology in the recently launched iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will launch Monday for customers in the United States.

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