New iPads come equipped with fingerprint scanners

October 16, 2014 03:46 PM

Apple Inc. announced the release of two new iPads today, and, as many assumed, the new generation of Apple’s tablet is outfitted with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that made its debut last month with the iPhone 6. That addition will open up Apple Pay to iPad users.

Apple Pay is Apple’s new mobile payment system announced last month and scheduled to officially launch Monday. The Touch ID scanner allows consumers to buy from retailer’s apps. The new generation of iPads will not, however, have near field communication, or NFC, chips. That means consumers won’t be able to use their iPads to pay via Apple Pay in bricks-and-mortar stores.

The announcement is likely welcome news to e-retailers looking to sell to consumers who use tablets, and iPads in particular. Tablet users generally spend more than smartphone users.

IPads accounted for 72.6% of tablet traffic and 84.1% of tablet sales in May 2014 while Android tablets accounted for 27.4% of tablet traffic but only 15.9% of tablet sales, says research from Affiliate Window, which operates affiliate networks in the U.S. and the U.K. The same study also found tablet shoppers converted at a rate of 6.0% while smartphone shoppers converted at a rate of 2.9%.

Historically, Apple has dominated the tablet market. A recent study from market research firm Parks Associates found the iPad and iPad Mini collectively held 37% of the U.S. tablet market, down from 46% in the first quarter of 2012. 16% of consumers have an Amazon tablet and 14% have a Samsung tablet, the study says.

The new iPads offer several enhancements. The iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the original iPad Air, Apple says. It also packs a stronger processor and graphics engine. Both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 will ship next week. The iPad Air 2 starts at $499, while iPad Mini 3 starts at $399.

Apple is aiming to reinvigorate iPad sales, which fell during the first two quarters of this year, as many consumers acquire smartphones with larger screens. Apple said it has sold more iPads in the first four years of the product line’s life than it has any other product, to the tune of more than 225 million.

Apple also announced the release of its new operating system, OS X Yosemite, and a 27-inch iMac computer with a Retina 5K Display.




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