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

    October 24, 2012
    Josh Wolford

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?