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The iPad mini debuted today, just in time for the holiday gift-buying bonanza. Undoubtedly, Apple is hoping to compete with the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7 tablets. But will consumers plop down the cash for a premium product?
In a surprise to essentially no one, Apple unveiled the 7.9-inch iPad mini during its event today. The smaller iPad features most of the same features which have kept its larger cousin at the forefront of the tablet market, seemingly only shrinking down the display size.
Oh, and the entry-level model is $329.
Yes, the iPad mini is not cheap. In fact, it's almost staggeringly expensive when compared to the $199 starting price-tag of the Kindle Fire HD, or Nexus 7. But speaking to Reuters, Apple's marketing guru, Phil Schiller, thinks shoppers will pay a bit more for a quality product.
"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," said Schiller. "And now you can get a device that's even more affordable at $329 in this great new form, and I think a lot of customers are going to be very excited about that."
During this morning's reveal event, Schiller gave a more direct opinion on the competition, stating, "Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they've failed miserably."
The consumer response to the iPad mini is going to be interesting. On one hand, competing 7-inch tablets offer a significantly lower price of entry. But the Apple brand carries extreme weight in the tablet space, and buyers may be willing dig a little deeper in the old holiday budget.
Image Source: Reuters/Robert Galbraith
Follow this article's author, Matt Clark on Twitter.