Apple announces the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2

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Apple revved up the iPad brand Thursday with a new iPad Air 2 that is just 6.1 mm thick. “It is the thinnest iPad we have ever made,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. The new iPad Air 2 is so thin that two stacked on top of one and other are still thinner than the original iPad, said Schiller. Apple will begin to take orders for the new iPads on Friday and they will ship “next week,” said Schiller.

In reaction to declining sales of tablet computing devices, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, recently remarked that tablets had hit a “speed bump” that was nothing to be concerned about. Now Apple is trying to accelerate past the bump. The company on Thursday introduced new models of iPads, including a major revision for its iPad Air, the larger and more expensive model, and some improvements for its smaller sibling, the iPad Mini 3. Apple said the iPad Air 2 was 18 percent thinner and 40 percent faster than the last one, a surprising change — and a bit of an engineering feat — because Apple made the previous version thinner and faster just last year. Essentially, the new iPad Air is thinner than a pencil. The new iPads will be available Oct. 24.

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