SAN JOSE, Calif. — Apple is refusing to stoop to the level of its rivals in the tablet market — it's pricing its new, smaller iPad well above the competition.
On Tuesday, Apple revealed the iPad Mini, with a screen that's about two-thirds the size of the full-sized model, and said it will cost $329 and up.
Marketing chief Phil Schiller said Apple will start taking orders for the new model Friday and for Wi-Fi-only models on Nov. 2. Later, the company will add models capable of accessing "LTE" wireless data networks.
Company watchers had been expecting Apple to price the iPad Mini at $250 to $300 to counter the threat of less expensive tablets like Amazon.com's Kindle Fire, which starts at $159. Google sells its Nexus 7 tablet for $199 and up.
The screen of the iPad Mini is 7.9 inches on the diagonal, making it larger than the 7-inch screens of the competitors. It also sports two cameras, on the front and on the back, which the competitors don't.
The iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and weighs 0.68 pounds, half that of the full-sized iPad with its 9.7-inch screen, Schiller said.
The screen resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels, the same as the iPad 2 and a quarter of the resolution of the flagship iPad, which starts at $499.
"It's not just a shrunken-down iPad, it's an entirely new design," Schiller said.
Apple also said it's upgrading its full-sized iPad tablet just six months after launching a new model, doubling the speed of the processor. Previously, the company has updated the iPad once a year.
The fourth-generation iPad will have a better camera and work on more "LTE" wireless data networks around the world. Apple is also replacing the 30-pin dock connector with the new, smaller "Lightning" connector introduced with the iPhone 5 a month ago.
The price of the new full-sized model stays the same as the previous version, starting at $499 for a Wi-Fi-only version with 16 gigabytes of memory.
Apple also introduced a 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop with a "Retina" display sporting four times the resolution of the older model.
The new model follows a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display introduced this summer, and goes on sale Tuesday for $1,699.
The old MacBook Pro will still be sold, starting at $1,199.