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The strategy hasn’t been a hit with investors who are unhappy with the Cupertino, Calif. company’s slowing growth as it loses sales to lower-priced alternatives. Wall Street also is disillusioned with Apple’s lack of another breakthrough product since the death of co-founder and chief visionary Steve Jobs two years ago.

Apple’s stock dipped $1.49 to close at $519.87 Tuesday. The shares remain about 25 percent below their peak reached 13 months ago.

The iPad Air’s main appeal is a more svelte design and a faster microprocessor, the same kind of chip in the iPhone 5S that Apple released a month ago. The new tablet weighs just 1 pound, compared with 1.4 pounds for the previous version. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller hailed it as a “screaming fast iPad,” noting that it is eight times faster than the original model that came out in 2010.

The iPad Air will go on sale Nov. 1. The new iPad Mini will be available at a still-to-be-determined date later in November.

They are coming out at a time when Apple needs to reassert itself in a tablet market. Google, and Samsung have been winning over consumers with flashy tablets that sell for $200 to $400. None of the rivals boast the 475,000 apps that Apple says are made for the iPad, but that vast selection hasn’t mattered to many cost-conscious consumers.

The research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that Android tablets will end 2013 with a 50 percent share of the worldwide market versus 49 percent for the iPad. Just two years ago, the iPad commanded a 65 percent market share compared to 30 percent for Android tablets.

Apple sold 14.6 million iPads during the three months ending in June, down 14 percent from the same time last year. It marked the first time Apple has posted a year-over-year decline in iPad sales.

It might have happened again in the latest quarter ending in September. Although Apple isn’t scheduled to report its results for the latest quarter until next Monday, a statistic released at Tuesday’s event gave a hint of how the iPad fared in the period.

Cook said Apple’s total iPad sales since the device’s inception surpassed 170 million units earlier this month. Given that Apple sold 155 million iPads through June, that means fewer than 15 million were sold in the quarter ending in September. Apple sold 14 million iPads in last year’s quarter ending in September.


Ortutay reported from New York.