The Latest: Apple to sell larger-screen iPads


SAN FRANCISCO — The latest news on iPhones and other products from Apple's event in San Francisco.

All times are PDT.

10:35 a.m.

Apple says it will make a larger-screen iPad tablet aimed at business users.

The iPad Pro, as it's called, will take advantage of new multitasking features coming to existing iPads. A software update will enable iPads to run two apps side by side, something previously limited to Samsung and Windows tablets.

With a larger screen on the new iPad Pro, apps running side by side will have more room to breathe.

The new iPad will have a 12.9-inch screen, compared with 9.7 inches for the current full-size iPad. It will have four speakers and options for a physical keyboard and a stylus, called Apple Pencil. Despite the larger size, Apple says it's about the same weight as the original iPad.

Samsung made a tablet aimed at professionals last year. It had screens as large as 12.2 inches and also came with a stylus. More recently, though, Samsung has been shrinking the screens on its tablets.

The new iPad also marks Apple's latest attempt to steal corporate customers away from Microsoft, whose personal computers have been business staple for decades. Microsoft makes a tablet designed for the needs of office workers called the Surface Pro 3 that sells at prices starting at $800. With a 12-inch display screen, the Surface Pro 3 is slightly smaller than Apple's new tablet.

Although there has been a lot of speculation that Apple would do make a larger iPad, an announcement wasn't expected until October. A release date and price wasn't immediately known.

Apple announced the new iPad in San Francisco on Wednesday.


10:20 a.m.

Apple says a software update for the Apple Watch is allowing outsider developers to write more sophisticated apps.

With the update, outside developers can make apps specifically for the watch and interact directly with its sensors and controls. That will enable apps that analyze golf swings or record audio. Before, third-party apps have been limited to being extensions of apps that run on the iPhone.

The new software will be available as a free download starting next Wednesday.

At an event in San Francisco Wednesday, Apple said there are now 10,000 apps designed for the watch, including ones from Facebook and GoPro — the later using the watch's screen as a viewfinder for the video camera. Apple says the new capabilities will also allow additional health-related apps.

The upcoming Samsung Gear S2 will also allow outside parties to write apps that run directly on the watch. Google is also hoping programmers create apps that can work independently on watches running on its Android Wear software.

— Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer


8 a.m.

Apple investors are hoping that new iPhones and other products expected Wednesday will boost the company's stock.

Apple isn't saying what the event in downtown San Francisco is about, but the company usually announces new iPhones around this time.

Apple's stock has fallen as investors fret over whether the company can duplicate the phenomenal sales growth it saw after introducing last year's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

In a note to clients, FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives says the event is critical "for Apple to help turn the negative investor tide, and help lay out its growth vision for the next year."

Analyst Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets says the announcements should be "a positive catalyst" for Apple shares.

But Maynard Um of Wells Fargo Securities says many investors already have "low expectations." Um says this year's iPhones aren't expected to be dramatically different from last year's models.

— Brandon Bailey, AP Technology Writer


7:30 a.m.

New iPhones expected from Apple on Wednesday come amid questions about whether the company can sustain growth for its best-selling device.

Apple sold more than 74 million iPhones in the first three months after it released the super-sized iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models last year. That's 46 percent more phones than it sold in the same period a year earlier. To get that same 46 percent increase, Apple would have to sell more than 108 million iPhones in the next three months.

Jerry Kim, a Columbia University management professor, says the expectations might seem unfair, but Wall Street "will definitely be disappointed if they can't break another record next quarter."

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes there is still room for iPhone sales to expand. He's told analysts that an increasing number of iPhone buyers are people who used to own devices running Google's Android software.

Research firm Kantar Worldpanel says many iPhone owners have older models, suggesting they may be ready to upgrade to a newer iPhone in the coming months.

— Brandon Bailey, AP Technology Writer