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Apple invites go out for Oct 22 event in San Francisco

12:51 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
Apple sent out an invitation on October 15 for an October 22 event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (Apple)
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SAN FRANCISCO (USA Today) -- Apple sent out invitations Tuesday to an event on Oct. 22 in San Francisco, where the tech giant is expected to unveil new versions of its dominant iPad tablet computers.

"We still have a lot to cover," Apple said in the invite for the event, which will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.

Apple has been under pressure from investors to release new gadgets to prop up its sagging growth rate.

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The company's recent iPhone launch, in which it released two new versions for the first time, generated strong demand globally.

However, the cheaper model, the iPhone 5c, was deemed not cheap enough by Wall Street, which was hoping that Apple would release a phone more suited to emerging market customers with less money to spend.

On Oct. 22, Apple is expected to unveiled a new, full-sized iPad and an upgraded version of its iPad mini, ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. The latter will likely get the crisper "Retina" that is already on the bigger tablets.

Apple may also release details of its new OS X Mavericks operating system and refresh some of its Mac computers, which will likely run the new OS.

"While [CEO] Tim Cook has said to expect an amazing year, the reality is that we've just seen iterative refreshes," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners. "This doesn't necessarily propel the stock to the heights it was once at."

Apple shares rose almost 1% to trade above $500 on Tuesday afternoon. However, the stock traded above $700 last year.

Gillis expects upgraded iPads with the same pricing model and a new Retina screen for the iPad mini.

"While this is happening, tablet share for Apple continues to drop because of decent offerings from Amazon and Google at much lower price points," he said.

Apple often hints at what new products might entail in its invitations. The latest hint - "We still have a lot to cover" - probably doesn't mean the company will release iPads in different sizes, Gillis said.

"I think it means the covers are going to be re-designed," the analyst said. "This is iteration again."

Still, demand will likely be strong for Apple's new iPads.

A recent survey of customers waiting to buy the high-end iPhone 5s, by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, found that 70% already owned in iPad. And of those, half expected to upgrade their iPad over the next year.

Of the iPhone 5s customers who did not own an iPad already, 38% said they planned to buy a tablet from Apple in the next year. That was up from a previous survey Munster conducted when the iPhone 5 was launched.

(USA Today)

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