WHAM! Here’s Apple’s Response to Microsoft’s New CHALLENGE

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released a new commercial on Monday highlighting the new iPad’s breadth of functionality, depicting a user performing both entertainment and productivity-related tasks on the device. The timing of the ad (see below), which was posted to Apple’s official YouTube channel, coincides with rival Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) announcement of its own Surface tablet.

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On Monday, Microsoft revealed plans to release two tablets — one an iPad competitor and one meant to compete with thin, lightweight laptops — later this year. The former is built on an Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) chip designed by ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) and is comparable to Apple’s iPad, heavier but slightly thinner, with a 10.6-inch screen and the choice of either 32GB or 64GB of memory. The latter is a heavier tablet aimed at the next generation of Ultrabooks, lightweight laptops inspired by Apple’s MacBook Air, running on traditional Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips.

Preempting Microsoft’s announcement, which took place at an event in Los Angeles yesterday, Apple reminded potential tablet buyers of the range of features the new iPad has to offer. “Send a note, stay informed, catch a show, make your point, make a memory, make a masterpiece, read something, watch something and learn something,” the narrator says. “Do it all more beautifully with the Retina Display on iPad.”

The iPad with Retina Display went on sale in March. The touchscreen tablet’s new 2,048-by-1,536-pixel display is its main selling point, and has been featured in previous commercials. The Retina Display was previously introduced on the iPhone 4S last fall, and most recently on the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which was introduced last week during the keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The high-definition laptop went on sale Monday, the day of the keynote, and after quickly exhausting Apple’s initial supply, buyers are now looking at long wait times for having the devices shipped.

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