Apple’s new iPad disappoints

new-ipadNot even the Tame Apple Press was able to come up with much to say about Apple’s new iPad, which is surprisingly similar to the old model.

True they are a bit slimmer and had a fingerprint sensor, but everyone said that the gear was a bit of a yawn and offered nothing to wow consumers ahead of a holiday shopping season.

At a launch event on Thursday, Chief Executive Tim Cook called Apple’s new line-up, which includes a new iMac computer with a “5K retina” or high-end display, the company’s best ever. But analysts believe that propping up Apple’s reality distortion field will probably not save this tablet.

Of course, Apple fanboys will start queuing for the device immediately, but it is starting to look like saner heads will question why they should bother.

Gartner analyst Van Baker said that the only impressive thing was the 5K retina display on the iMac. The only other things we saw were just iterative improvements on the iPad.

Pre-orders start Friday for the larger iPad Air 2, priced at $499 and up, with shipping beginning next week. The smaller iPad mini 3 will be about $100 cheaper.

The new iMac, which sports the new “Yosemite” operating system, will go for $2,499.

Tablet sales are set to rise only 11 percent this year, according to tech research firm Gartner, compared to 55 percent last year.

Tablet sales for Apple, which defined the category with the iPad just four years ago, have fallen for two straight quarters. Investors remain focused on the iPhone, Apple’s main revenue generator, but a prolonged downturn in iPad sales would threaten about 15 percent of the company’s revenue.

Missing from yesterday’s event was a larger, more interesting, 12-inch-plus iPad, which actually would have been useful to enterprise buyers. Clearly it was bending too much.