News over the weekend about Apple’s planned iPad Mini pricing has caused uproar amongst hardcore tech fans.
According to 9to5mac the entry-level slate will cost $329 (£205) for a basic (apparently 8GB) model, rising to $659 (£411) for a top capacity, Wi-Fi and 4G model.
Obviously, this doesn’t look good when you consider a Google Nexus 7 8GB costs $199 in the States and an entry-level Amazon Kindle Fire comes in at $159. But step back and there is some logic in Apple’s approach. With a new iPod touch priced $299 in the US, it obviously doesn’t want to be seen to undercut its PMP and hasten that device’s already seemingly inexorable decline.
And then there’s the fact that Apple never, ever sells its products on the cheap, even if they’re ‘Mini’ versions of top-line devices.
This is born out by the price of the first iPod Mini and iPod Nano when they hit shelves. Of course, it’d be far better if an iPad Mini cost much less, for consumers at least.
On these shores, it’s likely to cost north of £249 for a basic version, as that’s the price of the new 32GB iPod touch 5th gen.
That’s pretty hefty for a device that will come with a smaller screen than a basic full-size iPad and will doubtless pack less impressive tech under the hood. Yet Apple won’t care a hoot for the complaints.
Because while the company has lost its way when it comes to keeping leaks under wraps and has suffered some pretty humiliating PR fails in recent weeks, it’s still the go-to tech brand for consumers, especially in the run up to Christmas. The mind-share that Apple enjoys remains phenomenal.
The iPad Mini will clearly cost a lot more than the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, but Apple will be able to argue (with some justification), that it’s a better quality device, one which doesn’t feel cheap to hold and use.
That it’ll run well-known iOS software is also a bonus. This will feel like a premium experience for new Apple users and give many consumers the chance to own an iPad for the first time.
That level of lust for a device cannot be underestimated. Other tablets may be cheaper, some may even be better in the eyes of tech watchers, but ultimately, none have the brand awareness and desirability of the iPad.