Apple introduced a shrunken version of its popular iPad on Tuesday as it faces increasing pressure from Amazon and other companies that have been winning customers with smaller tablets.
The launch of the iPad mini was a notable shift for the tech giant, which has tended to dictate design to consumers rather than respond to their appetites.
Its late founder, Steve Jobs, had once derided small tablets, joking that they would need to come with sandpaper so people could file their fingers down to use them.
But Apple has watched its market share in tablets fall in recent years. The iPad now accounts for 60 percent of tablet sales, down from more than 80 percent in 2010. Over that time, Amazon and Google have released smaller tablets, and a bevy of others are on their way before the holiday shopping season.
Like in computers and laptops, Apple strove to maintain its position as a high-quality computer manufacturer whose products cost more than the competition. The basic version of the iPad mini is tagged at $329, well above Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire.