iPad Mini Too Expensive? Apple’s Phil Schiller Says No Way

    October 24, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

If you watched yesterday’s iPad Mini launch event, you probably remember the time Phil Schiller took to compare the new device to various other tablets on the market (mostly targeting Google Android tablets). Aluminum, not plastic; bigger screen but also thinner and lighter, etc. Now, he’s pushing the Apple quality argument to defend something that some have pointed to as a mistake from Apple.

That $329 price tag.

The base iPad Mini, with 16GB of memory and Wi-Fi only will run customers about $80 more than the Google Nexus 7 and $130 more than the Kindle Fire HD, its two biggest competitors. After the event, Apple share prices dropped 3.26%, a shift that some analysts blamed on the iPad Mini price being too high. One such analyst said that he “had hoped Apple would step on the throats of Amazon and Google with its pricing,” but they failed.

Apple’s Phil Schiller defended the $329 price point to Reuters, basically employing the “they’ve paid for iPads that were more expensive in the past, why not this time?” argument.

Here’s what he had to say:

“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. 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.”

Fair point, I guess. Plenty of people have paid more for iPads when there were cheaper tablets on the market in the past, what’s to think Apple’s venture into 7-inch tablets will be any different? Schiller obviously thinks that the Apple quality argument is plenty enough to justify the higher-than-expected price point.

Despite some backlash about the price, some analysts believe that customers will in fact pay the “premium price” for the new Apple tablet. Reuters quotes an FBN Securities analyst who says:

“In spite of concerns about the price…we would be buyers of the stock even in front of earnings this Thursday as we do believe that customers will pay a premium for an Apple tablet.”

What do you think about the price? Is $329 too high?

  • Jack Serin

    I was set to buy one at $250 and support Apple who was making a product to compete in price and take a corner of the market.
    But at $330+ for old technology? that’s just greedy.
    They not only didn’t hit the goal (an affordable iPad) but they also are going to boost sales of $199 devices.
    Plus you KNOW there will be a Retina version in 6 months, with a faster chip too.
    Idiots will buy it at $329, but they would have at $350 or $400. This price tag just weeds out the smarter buyers who know the value of technology.

  • William Burke

    I admit it: I was quite taken aback by the anal-retentive price point of the iPad Mini. And yes, a retina display model will be around, hopefully before I die. AND at a cheaper price. WE ALREADY KNOW THIS. So I will curb my enthusiasm and wait. I want one; it’s certainly a better fit for my needs than the iPod Touch (I am still using my 2nd gen.) OR the full-size iPad.

    I mean, REALLY? $329? Let the suckers come and go. If the price somehow never comes down, I’ll just buy a new iPod Touch. The iPad’s just too big to be of practical use for me.

    Apple, if you want my money, you can GO FISH, or you can drop the price.

  • John Thomas

    I had already stated my Christmas preference to my wife…I have a Kindle Keyboard, but I’m really enamored of the Kindle Paperwhite. I already have an iPhone 4, iPod Touch and two Android tablets. Despite that, for a few moments I considered changing my Christmas request to an iPad Mini. And then the pricing was revealed. No way in hell! There are at least 5 devices I’d rather have for that money,and I could get two of a couple of them for that price. Apple blew it!

  • MSDN

    On the one hand, Apple set the premium price for ipad mini. On the another hand they are just packing the 2 years old technology into a smaller form factor. Although phli said Apple user always paiy the premium for their product, user will tell him. They are aiming a low end market but just put the price at premium level. If they want to win, they should not just put old tech component in. They should at least add retina display. Tell us the reason why we have to pay more, but not just by the name of Apple. You know, Apple without Jobs, it is not the best already. Tim Cook is no way to reach Steve’s level.