Apple's iPad mini to start at $329, go on sale Friday
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Apple Inc will sell its new 7.9-inch iPad mini for $329 and up, higher than some industry observers had expected.
The company, which hopes to beat back rivals such as Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc with their $199 seven-inch tablets, said online sales will begin on Friday and shipments start a week later.
Apple introduced a smaller iPad, as expected, but also updated its full-sized one. It also unveiled new Mac computers, including a 13-inch (33-centimeter) version of a MacBook Pro with sharper, ``Retina'' display.
With a screen measuring 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) on the diagonal, the iPad Mini is about half the size of the regular iPad. It's slightly larger than the 7-inch (17.7-centimeter) tablets from Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc.
Philip Schiller, the senior vice president for worldwide marketing, said all of the software designed for the original iPad will work on the smaller one, as the display is 1024 by 768 pixels _ the same as the original iPad.
The latest, full-sized iPad has a sharper screen at 2048 by 1536 pixels.
"You can hold it in one hand,'' he said. It's not just a shrunken down iPad. It's an entirely new design."
Apple has sold more than 100 million iPads since their debut in April 2010. Although Apple dominates the worldwide tablet market with 70 percent of shipments in the second quarter, according to IHS iSuppli, Amazon and Google have been able to make in-roads with the smaller alternatives. A smaller iPad from Apple Inc. could help the company cement its dominance.
The event at the California Theatre comes a few days before Microsoft Corp. starts selling a new version of its Windows operating system, one designed to work well on both traditional computers and tablets. Microsoft is also releasing its own tablet, the Surface, on Friday. It will be slightly larger than the full-sized iPad.
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