As it was expected, the new mini iPad will be presented at the Apple event taking place this week on the 23rd of October and will arrive in USA around 2nd of November. This event will likely center around an update to the whole Apple range, with the iPad mini coming with a Lightning connector and a refreshed iPad coming with Lightning as well. There have been several other rumors surrounding this event including a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro that’s essentially the same as the one released earlier this year – but smaller.
This listing shows that there will be two different colors – white and black (A and B), four different storage capacities (8, 16, 32, and 64GB), and three different kinds of wireless internet connectivity. These models will likely come in wi-fi only, 3G, and 4G LTE capability configurations right out of the gate.
Each of those four variants is available in three different flavors designated “GOOD”, “BETTER”, and “BEST” that are presumed to be related to connectivity options. Apple appears set to launch both Wi-Fi and cellular-capable models, with the three flavors suggesting that there may be multiple cellular-capable versions such as separate 3G and 4G LTE models. Alternatively, there may simply be two different LTE-capable versions in order to support the various carrier networks available around the world, although it is unclear why one such model would be designated “BETTER” and another “BEST”.
The retail lists shown so far that the 8GB wi-fi version of this next-generation iPad will cost around 249$. At this price, the device would undercut the iPod touch in some cases, this leading skeptics to hold reservations about the final pricing scheme. With this many models of the iPad mini ready in the system already, we must assume Apple intends to sell quite a few of them, one way or another.
The smaller-sized tablet range is currently dominated by the Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7, both of them priced at or below 200$, but for sure Apple religion will win the battle .
This new iPad mini device will likely have a 7.85″ display and a Lightning connector like the iPhone 5 and new iPod devices as well, without Retina display and the internals of an iPad 2.
What the Mini iPad will be is pretty clear: a smaller version of the IPad 2. Given that the ONLY significant feature is what it will cost.
Here their are 2 issues, what it will cost in relation to the newly emerging 7″ tablet market and what it will cost in relation to the full sized iPads. Cost of each size of Mini is crucial for it to achieve significant sales for Apple.
If the Mini iPads cost too much they will not significantly penetrate the emerging huge 7″ tablet market but will be primarily sold to the existing Apple faithful as an alternative to the full sized IPad. Likely this would actually reduce net Apple profits by primarily eroding their existing full sized IPad sales.
Clearly it is Apple’s intention to pick up a broad new base of customers, presumably from the new 7″ tablet market.
What is not clear is that they have fully grasped the necessity for a price structure for the Mini iPad that deviates from previous Apple products in order to be able to accomplish this. Pre-leaked and likely inaccurate pricing has indicated that they do not. Two primary pricing schemes have been seen and both of them will likely prove disastrous for Apple.
The most likely scheme has an entry level 16gb Mini for 329$. This would be 70$ less than a full sized IPad 2 and considerably more than most people are planning on spending on a 7″ tablet.
At these prices the Mini does not compete wel at all in the 7″ tablet market and in fact competes poorly against it’s own full sized IPads, basically if you want an IPad you might as well spring for one of the full sized ones.
The other (leaked) scheme has an 8 GB entry level Mini coming in at 250$ with each increment of memory being a hundred dollars. This is actually worse, because a 16 GB Mini is now 350$ and the 8GB one truly doesn’t have enough memory to function properly.
Apple knows this stuff, but it is wise to understand that they are the same ones who just released Apple Maps way too early, so shooting themselves in the foot is certainly a really good possibility.