Are you tired of hearing about the fabled iPad mini yet? I know I am. I’m hoping that Apple releases the miniature tablet soon, so we can put an end to the endless speculation and the rumors that have been circulating for months now.
Alas, there’s still no sign of the mythical mini, so the speculation continues, and today’s rumors are all about pricing. Yesterday, a German website produced a screenshot of an iPad mini inventory list, complete with prices that turned out to be surprisingly high.
The German site listed the low end iPad mini at 249 euros, while the high end mini clocked in at 649 euros. If those prices include European VAT taxes, equivalent U.S. prices could range from $250 to $650. If the prices do not include VAT taxes, the iPad mini could cost $320 to $840 at a straight conversion, which is quite a lot of dough.
Would you pay $650 for an iPad mini? How about $840? Those prices, of course, are for the 64GB Cellular models. At the $250/$320 mark, you’d be getting a measly 8GB Wi-Fi tablet.
Like its big brother, the iPad mini will come in both black and white, but the tiny version of Apple’s tablet comes with a smaller memory chip. If the inventory screenshots are to be believed, it will be available in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, with both Wi-Fi and Cellular models. Note that this in conflict with earlier rumors, as barely a week ago, reports mentioned that the iPad Mini was expected to be WiFi-only.
Getting a 16GB iPad mini (the standard entry level iPad size) will cost about $350, which is only $150 less than the full entry level iPad, and only $50 less than the iPad 2.
Here’s a full breakdown (prices include VAT taxes on the left, without on the right):
- 8GB WiFi Black/White, $250/$320
- 8GB Cellular Black/White $350/$450
- 16GB WiFi Black/White $350/$450
- 16GB Cellular WiFi Black/White $450/$580
- 32GB WiFi Black/White $450/$580
- 32GB Cellular Black/White $550/$710
- 64GB WiFi Black/White $550/$710
- 64GB Cellular Black/White $650/$840
Back in August, I speculated that Apple would charge $299 for the low end iPad mini (though I didn’t think there would be an 8GB version) and that price still seems in line with what it looks like Apple is going to offer.
I’ve seen sites and news stories that insist Apple has to price its mini tablets at a sub-$200 point in order to compete with the Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7, but that’s simply not true.
Google and Amazon had to price their tablet offerings low in order to compete with the iPad, and that doesn’t work the other way around. The iPad mini doesn’t need to compete with these other tablets – it has a built-in market of Apple fans. Apple sets the bar, and the iPad mini is going to sell like wildfire even with a $50 or $100 premium on the entry level prices on competing products.
With the original Kindle Fire, Amazon took a small loss on every unit sold – something that Apple has never had to do, making it unlikely that the Cupertino-based company would do so this time around.
At $250 to $300 (I really think $299 is just right), an entry level iPad mini fits well into Apple’s product lineup. It’s priced lower than the iPad, but equivalent to the iPod touch, which is now available for $299. These two product lines really go hand in hand – the iPad mini is available for those who are looking for more screen real estate, while the iPod touch is available for people who need portability.
A $250/$300 price tag is just right to fit in with other Apple products, but is it priced to sell? Yes, and no. With a higher price, Apple can compensate a bit for the insane demand that is likely to go along with the product, but it may lose some customers.
We recently conducted a PadGadget reader poll to ask you guys what you thought the iPad mini should cost. Out of 900 respondents, 48 percent said $199 was the sweet spot, while overall, 75 percent thought that it should be less than $249.
Apple may hit that $250 price point with an entry level tablet, but it’s looking like $200 is just a bit too cheap. Personally, I think it’s a waste to produce an 8GB tablet, and I’ll be surprised if Apple offers the option. 16GB for $299 still seems like the fairer deal.
What do you think? Will you still buy an iPad mini if it ends up priced at $299 or above? Is 8GB of storage for an entry level tablet enough?