Apple's new iPad Pro on display at the Sept. 9 special event.
Photo by Jason Cipriani

Apple looks to get iPad sales back on track with major updates to both the user experience and accessories.

By Jason Cipriani
November 9, 2015

Apple announced on Monday that the iPad Pro will be available to order starting Wednesday, Nov. 11 with in-store availability to follow later in the week.

The iPad Pro was first announced in Sept. alongside a new iPhone and a revamped Apple TV. It features a 12.9 inch display, besting the iPad Air 2’s size by a little over 3 inches. A new Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, a stylus designed to work with the tablet, will also go on sale on Wednesday.

During its announcement, Apple AAPL made it clear the iPad Pro was designed and built for getting work done. Microsoft MSFT representatives took the stage to demonstrate the company’s suite of Office apps on the larger tablet. Adobe ADBE was also represented, demonstrating the iPad Pro’s efficiency for editing photos or creating magazine layouts with ease.

Apple’s efforts to create the ultimate work tablet extended beyond super sizing the iPad. With the release of iOS 9, Apple added long overdue productivity features to the iPad line. Users can now run two apps at the same time in a split-screen mode, or quickly view content in an app with a new slide-over view.

The iPad Pro’s new keyboard accessory attaches via a small connector on the side of the tablet, and should provide a more laptop-like experience akin to that found on Microsoft’s Surface lineup. The Apple Pencil has received glowing first impressions from the likes of Disney animators DIS who had the chance to try out the new tech early.

Apple’s launch of a bigger tablet comes at a time when the iPad has seemingly lost its allure. iPad sales have continued to decline, to such an extent that Apple recently reported iPad sales down nearly 20% in the fourth quarter when compared to the same time period last year.

App analytics and marketing firm Localytics recently published a report demonstrating market share for the respective iPad models. The iPad 2 is the most popular model with 20% market share. First announced in 2011, the iPad 2 was available for nearly three years, receiving minor updates during its availability. The second most popular tablet is the three-years old original iPad Mini, at 18%. Combined market share for the two most recent models, the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 4, is only 9.3%.

In other words, iPad owners are in no hurry to upgrade. A slow upgrade cycle, combined with a long-term view the iPad is a device better suited for watching videos and playing games, is something Apple needs to overcome in order to reverse slow sales.

The iPad Pro will be available Wednesday starting at $799 for 32 gigabytes of storage, or $949 for 128 gigabytes. A 128 gigabyte cellular version will also be available for $1,079. The Apple Pencil is priced at $99, while the Smart Keyboard is $169. Apple will also begin selling Smart Covers for $59, and silicone cases for $79.

For more information about Apple’s iPad Pro, check out this Fortune video:

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