A number of rumors circulating prior to the launch of the iPad mini suggested that Apple might position the entry-level tablet between $199 and $299, pricing it below the fifth-generation iPod touch, although Apple introduced the device yesterday with a price tag of $329. That price came as a surprise to most — except for Mark Gurman, that is.
With several 7-inch tablets available on the market for substantially cheaper, it will be interesting to see if the iPad mini can actually compete with sales of those smaller competitors. Apple’s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller, speaking with Reuters yesterday, defended the iPad mini’s $329 price tag and believes that customers will be very excited about the tablet.
“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,” Schiller said. ”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.”
One must remember that Schiller is hired and paid to make comments such as these, as the marketing guru for Apple, but perhaps he makes a valid point. Sales of the iPad 2 at its reduced $399 price tag were quite strong, so a smaller and less expensive iPad might be the solution that a number of customers had been waiting for. We’ll soon find out.