Oct. 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM ET
Apple's 9.7-inch iPad is getting a "refresh" with a faster processor and the controversial Lightning port that comes with the iPhone 5 and has been the subject of hand-wringing by many consumers.
The new A6X processor should offer two times the graphics performance of the A5X processor used in the third-generation iPad, said Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president, at the company's Wednesday event in San Jose. It will also offer fast Wi-Fi performance.
The Lightning port — which we figured was coming to the new iPad — is a successor to Apple's legacy 30-pin connector. The new connector is 80 percent smaller, which means less room is needed to accommodate the jack. But, since 2003 when Apple introduced the 30-pin connector, millions of folks have speakers, car hookups and other peripherals and accessories that use it. To make them work with the new iPhone and iPad requires a $29 adapter.
The newest 9.7-inch iPad, which also includes a FaceTime HD camera, is being called the 4th generation iPad, and is only about six months newer than the last iPad, introduced in March. Both models have Apple's Retina display.
Pricing remains the same; $499 for the entry-level model with 16GB.
Pre-orders start Oct. 26; Wi-Fi-only versions will ship first, Nov. 2, Schiller said.