iPad’s Moment of Truth? Apple Looks to New Air to Reverse Tablet Slide

In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, the Apple logo is illuminated in the entrance to the Fifth Avenue Apple store, in New York. Six weeks ago, the iPhone and iPad maker announced plans to split its stock for the first time in nine years. Since then, Appleís shares have surged more than 20 percent. The stock split helped renew investor interest in Apple Inc., already the worldís most valuable company. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, the Apple logo is illuminated in the entrance to the Fifth Avenue Apple store, in New York. Six weeks ago, the iPhone and iPad maker announced plans to split its stock for the first time in nine years. Since then, Appleís shares have surged more than 20 percent. The stock split helped renew investor interest in Apple Inc., already the worldís most valuable company. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, the Apple logo is illuminated in the entrance to the Fifth Avenue Apple store, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(CNet) – It may be another Apple event, but the usual hype and anticipation just isn’t there.

When it comes to Apple’s marquee products, the iPad will always play second-fiddle to the iPhone, consistently getting new features a year late. Yet it’s a new version of the iPad that will likely take the spotlight on Thursday.

Apple is expected to unveil a new version of its9.7-inch iPad Air tablet that is thinner, lighter, faster, includes an anti-reflective screen and has the option of a gold model. It’ll also have a TouchID sensor that will work with the company’s upcoming Apple Pay mobile payments system.

But minor tweaks to the iPad Air may not be enough to reverse sliding sales, underscoring the wider reality that consumers just aren’t buying as many tablets anymore.

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