SAN FRANCISCO (USA TODAY) -- Apple unveiled new iPads Tuesday as the technologygiant tries to beat back rising competition from Google, Samsung in the fast-growing tablet market.

Apple executive PhilSchiller introduced a new full-sized tablet called iPad Air. It weighsone pound, significantly lighter than previous models, and is a lotthinner.

The tablet has a faster chip, new camera, dualmicrophones and comes in white, silver and space grey. The 16GB Wi-Fiversion costs $499 and it will be available Nov. 1 in many countries,including China for the first time, Schiller said.

PHOTOS: Apple unveils new products

Thenew iPad mini gets the crisper Retina display and the new A7 Applechip, Schiller also said. It comes in silver, space grey and white. Itcosts $399 for 16GB Wi-Fi and will be available later in November.

DETAILS: Coverage from the live event

Appleis also keeping the older iPad mini and will drop the price to $299 forthe entry model. It's also keeping the larger iPad 2, which will sellfor $399 for the base model.

Despite those price cuts, Apple'sannouncements Tuesday confirmed that the company is sticking to itshigh-price strategy for newer devices, Gene Munster, an analyst at PiperJaffray, said. Apple raised the entry price for the latest iPad mini to$399 from $329, he noted.

"Other companies would be incrediblyproud to have just one of these products. We're pleased to present allthese to you ahead of the holidays," Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

Apple shares slipped 0.8% to $517.23 in afternoon trading following the new product announcements.

Apple'sshare of the tablet market has been sliding as cheaper tablets runningGoogle's Android operating system become more popular.

FIRST TAKE: iPad Air steals show with familiar feel

Androidwill have 49.6% of the worldwide tablet sector this year, while Applewill have 48.6% - making 2013 the first year Android will lead,according to Gartner estimates. In 2011, Apple's share was almosttwo-thirds, and Android was below 30%.

Still, there's a lot tofight for. Tablet shipments are expected to surge 43% to more than 263million units in 2014, making it almost as big a market as PCs, Gartnerestimates.

A revived iPad line is crucial for Apple, because WallStreet has begun to think of the company as a "one product" story again,Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, wrote in a recent note to investors.

Read or Share this story: