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Friday, October 17, 2014, 09:28

iPad Air 2, Apple Pay, new Macs debut

By Associated Press
iPad Air 2, Apple Pay, new Macs debut
iPad Air 2, Apple Pay, new Macs debut
Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPad Air 2 during a special event on October 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

CUPERTINO, Calif - Apple unveiled a thinner iPad Thursday with a faster processor and a better camera as it tries to drive excitement for tablets amid slowing demand.

The iPad Air 2, at 6.1 millimeters ``thin,'' also adds many of the features previously available on iPhones. That includes the ability to take burst shots and slow-motion video and the inclusion of a fingerprint ID sensor for use instead of a passcode. It also has an anti-reflective coating, a first for a tablet, which makes it 56 percent less reflective, said Philip Schiller, senior vice president of marketing, on stage at the event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The iPad Air 2 will start at $499. Apple also updated its iPad Mini device, with a starting price of $399. The new devices will begin shipping next week, with advance orders starting Friday.

Meanwhile, Apple made its new Mac operating system, Yosemite, available as a free download starting Thursday. Apple Pay, the company's new system for using iPhones to make credit and debit card payments at retail stores, will launch on Monday.

CEO Tim Cook opened Thursday's product-launch event by touting strong reception to the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, released last month.

``It's been an incredible year and tremendously busy already,'' he said, adding that the new iPhones have been the fastest-selling in Apple's history. He reiterated that the iPhones will launch in China in just a few hours and said the launch is aligned with a rollout of 4G cellular networks there.

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