Apple Introduces iPad Mini, And It Ain't Cheap
There's been buzz for weeks that Apple was on the verge of releasing a scaled-down version of the iPad, and they came through yesterday, introducing the iPad Mini. It was clearly a response to smaller, souped-up tablets like the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.
But tech writers were immediately thrown by the price—the 16GB wi-fi Mini costs $330, which is $130 more than the equivalent Kindle Fire HD. The Fire is a bit smaller and doesn't have the same abundance of apps, but it's got better resolution and a slightly stronger processor.
Here's a chart from Apple, comparing the prices of its iPad lineup
Gizmodo makes a compelling argument for how this is a head-scratching move from Apple. They note that the original iPad was the cheapest tablet on the market when it was released, and the MacBook Air lowered the bar on pricing for ultrabooks. Gizmodo goes on to say:
Charging so much more for a product that's not clearly so much better is a major step backwards for Apple, especially given its unfamiliar position in the small tablet space as a follower. You don't enter an established market—Amazon's in its second generation of Kindle Fires already, and has millions of loyal customers at its disposal—by asking people to assume your offering is nearly two times better than what they already know to be great.
It'll be interesting to see if people accept the iPad Mini like the did the original iPad. For months leading up to the debut of the iPad people were saying it was a device no one would buy or find use for, and in a little over two years Apple sold a hundred million of them. The iPad Mini sure looks nice, but that price is no joke.
Apple also announced a new version of iBooks, which boasts an option to scroll through a book to read, instead of flipping pages. There's also a new version of iBooks Author out which, according to Galleycat, will "let publishers embed their own fonts in a digital book, use multi-touch widgets to make more complex books and create more complex mathematical equations in books."
So, what do you think about the Mini? You can't say Apple doesn't make pretty products, but that seems like a steep premium for the device. Are you enticed by the size?
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