Apple's new tablets, iMac impress, but analysts say Apple Pay is more important strategic move

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Apple showed off thinner iPads and a new iMac with a high-resolution display on Thursday. Sleek and stunning, yes, but not likely to spark the next iRevolution. The tech giant's bigger strategic bet is that mobile pay service Apple Pay, debuting Monday, will be the next thing you didn't know you needed — but now can't live without.

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The new iPads should sell well during the upcoming holiday shopping season, even as the worldwide tablet market is showing signs of slowing growth, analysts said. But they're not the kind of game-changing new product that has made Apple a darling of Silicon Valley and the tech industry's most valuable company.

Instead, the industry will be watching closely to see how consumers react to Apple Pay, which CEO Tim Cook said will go live next week. Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett says the service is "hugely important" because it puts Apple in the middle of a wide range of consumer transactions. That underscores Apple's value as a brand and gives people a powerful new reason to buy iPhones, iPads and other gadgets.