Apple will not be entering the mini-tablet bidding war despite unveiling its iPad Mini on Tuesday. The pricing for the iPad Mini is much higher than the company’s competitors. The new item features a screen that is two-thirds the size of the larger model and is half the weight of the larger model. Orders can be placed beginning on Friday for the new iPad.
Bill Kreher, an Edward Jones analyst, said, “Apple had an opportunity to step on the throat of Amazon and Google, yet decided to rely on its brand and focus on (profit) margin.”
The new iPad Mini will cost $329 and up, which falls into the pricing models for the new iPod Touch ($299) and the iPad 2 ($399). Many people close to the company felt that Apple was going to list the Mini price between $250-$300 in order to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire ($159) and Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Google Inc.’s Nexus 7 ($199).
The iPad debuted in April of 2010, with Apple selling over 100 million of them since. Analysts feel that the company will be able to sell anywhere from 5-10 million Minis prior to the end of the year.
The Mini screen measures 7.9 inches diagonally, which is larger than competitor screens that measure 7 inches. The Mini offers two cameras, one on the back and one on the front of the tablet. The Apple Mini is as thin as a pencil and has a weight of 0.68 pounds. The resolution of the screen is 1024 by 768 pixels. The new iPad has much better applications on it and its ease of use is better than Google’s Nexus, according to Avi Greengart from Current Analysis.
“This really is not in the same category as some of the other 7-inch tablets,” he said. “And that’s before you consider that it has a premium design — it’s made of metal that’s extremely lightweight.”
Steve Jobs originally hated the idea of making a tablet with a seven-inch screen. He said back in October of 2010 that, “The reason we wouldn’t make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a price point. It’s because we don’t think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.”
Eddy Cue, the senior vice president of Apple, was able to start changing Jobs’ mind about making a small tablet in an email sent to Apple managers in 2011. The email surfaced in the lawsuit with Samsung.