SAN FRANCISCO – Apple is refreshing its iPad lineup in hopes of reclaiming lost ground in the tablet market and slashing the prices of its Mac computers to intensify the pressure on the beleaguered makers of PCs running Microsoft's Windows.
Tuesday's unveiling of Apple's latest products primes the company for a holiday shopping season onslaught aimed at a list of rivals that includes Google, Samsung Electronics, Amazon.com and Microsoft Corp.
A thinner, lighter and faster-running tablet computer called the iPad Air highlighted the event in San Francisco. Apple also showed off a souped-up iPad Mini that boasts a faster microprocessor, a high-definition display screen and a higher price than its predecessor.
The iPad upgrades, coming a year after the release of the tablet's previous generation, fell largely in line with analyst expectations.
In a surprise, Apple is introducing slightly revamped MacBook Pros at prices 9 to 13 percent below the previous versions. What's more, Apple is giving away its latest Mac operating system — Mavericks — for free, as well as several pieces of software, including programs called iWorks and iLife that provide many of the same tools as Microsoft's Office.
“We are turning the industry on its ear,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said of the company's strategy.