Steve Jobs wanted nothing to do with a 7-inch tablet, calling such devices "tweener" gadgets that sit uncomfortably between a smartphone and larger size slate. He was wrong, of course, and Apple
eventually came to the conclusion that it too needed a tweener device to compete with the popular Kindle Fire HD
(best selling product on Amazon) and Nexus 7
. Thus the iPad Mini
was born. Game, set, match, right? Not so fast.
The problem with Apple's strategy is that the iPad Mini is a full $130 more than either of the above mentioned Android-based alternatives. There's no doubt the iPad Mini will sell, but will it dominate the category?
"Apple had an opportunity to step on the throat of Amazon and Google, yet decided to rely on its brand and focus on [profit] margin," said Bill Kreher, an analyst with brokerage Edward Jones, according to Fox New
In case you missed the announcement
, the iPad Mini runs $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, $429 for 32GB, and $529 for 64GB. The models with a 4G LTE radio baked in run $459 for 16GB, $559 for 32GB, and $659 for 64GB.
Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7 both start at $199 for 8GB, while the 16GB models run $249. Google's also planning to refresh its Nexus 7 lineup with a 32GB model that will replace the 16GB SKU at the $249 price point, a full $180 less expensive than the 32GB iPad Mini.
A straight-up comparison might not be fair.
"[The iPad Mini] really is not in the same category as some of the other 7-inch tablets," said Avi Greengart, a consumer electronics analyst with Current Analysis. "And that's before you consider that it has a premium design -- it's made of metal that's extremely lightweight."
What do you think about the iPad Mini's price points?