Recent reports suggest that Apple (NASDAQ:
) will charge
for its upcoming seven-inch tablet. Compared to its $199
competitors from Amazon (NASDAQ:
), Google (NASDAQ:
) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:
), the iPad Mini sounds very expensive. But is it
expensive to entice consumers and become the number-one selling
At $329, the iPad Mini would retail for only $30 more than the
four-inch iPod Touch. This could make it a much more appealing
device for consumers who want more bang for their buck. Keep in
mind that Apple is unlikely to cannibalize sales of the iPod
Touch to sell more tablets. Thus, the iPad Mini is likely to
feature a smaller amount of memory than the iPod Touch, which now
comes with 32GB of storage space.
Memory may not be the only way that Apple plans to separate
these products. The iPad Mini will be an iOS device, so it cannot
feature any unique software elements that are not available on
the existing iPad or iPod Touch. The device
be the thinnest device next to the iPhone 5, which would give it
a certain "cool" factor that no other tablet possesses.
Apple could feasibly push the boundaries even further and make
the iPad Mini thinner than the iPhone 5. This would justify the
higher price, since Apple could market the device as being far
more advanced than its competitors. Apple could also use this as
an excuse to refer to the device as an iPad Air, which some
analysts believe will be the official name.
While the third-generation iPad is designed to replace laptops
for everyday functions, the iPad Mini could be promoted as the
perfect companion to the MacBook Air. It could borrow design cues
and offer a similar look and feel.
As a result, the existing iPad would continue to be viewed as
a giant iPhone. On the other hand, the iPad Mini would now be
viewed as a pint-sized MacBook Air. This could help Apple further
differentiate between its products and their varying price
This might not be enough, however. While an Air-like iPad may
be more attractive than
indicate, the $329 price tag might be hard for some consumers to
swallow. If they can get a full-size iPad for $170 more, they
might be tempted to do so.
Though unlikely, that could be Apple's goal -- to make the
existing iPad seem more appealing.
Of course, at least one analyst believes that Apple will raise
the price of the third-generation iPad (as well as the iPad 2)
before the iPad Mini is released. This could make the price of
the new device seem much more attractive -- or simply enrage
consumers who can no longer acquire a third-generation iPad for
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