24 Oct 2012

Apple launches iPad Mini

8:05 pm on 24 October 2012

Apple has launched a smaller version of its iPad tablet in an attempt to take on Amazon and Google.

The iPad Mini, 7.2 millimetres thick and 0.3 kilograms, was announced at an event in California on Tuesday.

Apple says it has now sold 100 million iPads since the first version of its tablet was released two-and-a-half years ago.

But it no longer has the market it created in this new category of computing entirely to itself. Rivals have nibbled at Apple's lead, carving out a niche for low-cost lightweight tablets, the BBC reports.

The iPad Mini is the company's long-awaited response to tablets recently launched by Google, Amazon, Samsung and others.

A cheaper tablet had been expected, though at $US329 some analysts say the iPad Mini is more expensive than anticipated. In comparison, Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 cost $US199.

Apple's vice-president of marketing Phil Schiller told attendees that the device is 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the third-generation iPad, which was released in March this year.

In a surprise move, the company also announced a fourth-generation full-sized iPad just six months after unveiling a third generation device to much fanfare, Reuters reports.

Apple's Macbook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini range of computers have all been upgraded.