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A $249 iPad Mini is possible, but is it likely?

Posted: , by Michael H.

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A $249 iPad Mini is possible, but is it likely?
We've hit that time of the year when rumors give way to educated guesses, and we all compete to see who can get closest to the truth. And, Instapaper developer Marco Arment has had the amazing idea that maybe Apple could build an iPad Mini that's cheap! We bet none of you out there have ever had the idea that Apple might want to challenge the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire on price. 

Anyway, the idea is that Apple may just have an urge to compete with its competition in the 7" tablet market, and in order to do that Apple would have to make a relatively cheap device. Of course, Apple still wants to make a profit, unlike Google and Amazon, who are fine selling at cost in order to pull more users to their content stores, so Apple might aim for the $249 price point. And, that's really as close as Apple needs to get, because consumers have been conditioned to expect something of an Apple tax. 

The thing is that in order to make an iPad Mini that comes in at just $249, Apple would need to use old hardware, the iPad 2 hardware to be exact. Marco Arment says (quite correctly) that this would be "a textbook Tim Cook supply-chain move: selling the last generation's hardware at a lower price point to expand marketshare." 

It's an idea that certainly makes sense, and if it proves true, it would clear up some confusion about Siri and the iPad 2. Apple has been said to have tested Siri on the iPad 2, but it has never been confirmed for anything other than the new iPad. We'd expect that from here on out, all Apple devices will have Siri, which means that the iPad Mini would get the voice assistant, and so would the iPad 2 (assuming the Mini has the same guts). Apple could put together a more powerful iPad Mini, and still get the price to $249, if it is willing to forgo some profit, which an idea that was unheard of with Steve Jobs, but may not be so crazy under Tim Cook. Remember, Cook did give a stockholder dividend with some of the obscene amounts of cash Apple has on hand.

Then there is the issue with Apple's hardware lineup. As a PhoneArena reader, hobble, smartly points out, the $249 price point would cause trouble with the iPod Touch. One could say that such a price point would completely cannibalize the iPod Touch sales, because why would anyone buy an iPod Touch that starts at $199, if you can get an iPad Mini for $249. It makes far more sense that the iPad Mini clocks in at $299, so there is a clear scale in iOS products - $199 for the iPod Touch, $299 for the iPad Mini, $399 for last year's iPad model, and $499 for the new iPad. 

Let's make you guys the experts on this one. What's the likelihood that Apple puts out a $249 iPad Mini? 

24 Comments
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posted on 31 Aug 2012, 16:57 13

1. Aeires (unregistered)


Not going to happen. Apple's markup is way too high and they know people will pay it.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 23:31 5

13. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


True true. It's like adding $100 in every memory storage upgrade.

So.. if 249 is possible, add $100 for its price. ;)

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 17:03 6

2. downphoenix (Posts: 2267; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


I would be surprised if they priced it that low, since it would risk canibalizing the new ipad (and the supposed upcoming ipod touch) too much. $300 will be the price on this, maybe lower to $250 before a next gen model of this releases.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 17:08 11

3. kombinatonz (Posts: 25; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


Who cares!

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 17:46 6

4. TylerGrunter (Posts: 862; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


Unlikely, Apple won´t give up in their big profits per unit. If they do they risk to lose their "high end" label and make users to think they don´t have to pay more for their products.
Will they risk all that just for a market where they can´t make a lot of prifit? I would not be smartest move for them.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 19:18 6

5. hobble (Posts: 130; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


Not going to happen. At that price it would be too much competition for the ipods.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 19:43 4

7. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2649; Member since: 26 May 2011)


That's the most compelling argument I've heard yet. That's so good, I have to edit the article. Thanks!

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 20:23 9

8. downphoenix (Posts: 2267; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


how come you credited him and not me if I said it first?

I patented it! Sue!

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 23:33 4

14. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


And this is the most compelling argument I've heard yet! :)))))))))

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 20:29 1

9. Sprintfan (Posts: 68; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)


Ehh? Why would it be competition? An Ipod is and Ipod and a tablet is a tablet. An Ipod's primary function is music. 95% of people buy an ipod for a music player that fits into your pocket along with the luxury of apps and games. I dont think many people would be scratching their heads on choosing an Ipad or an Ipod. And also do people really think making a smaller Ipad is going to cut profits on the larger versions? No way. A smaller Ipad that is less than $300.00 will bring people that didnt want to pay $400.00 or where on the fence of buying a tablet in general. This has to happen if they want to still dominate the tablet share.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 23:34 3

15. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


LOOOOOOOLL THE PRICE DUDE! PRICEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 19:37

6. techguy22 (Posts: 226; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


meh the N7 is 199 with a 1280p screen unless apple is going to put a higher screen than that which i highly doubt they would. not interested. still want their new ipod touch though.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 20:35

10. downphoenix (Posts: 2267; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


The nexus isnt 1280p, its 800p. The p goes after the lower resolution. 1280p would assume it has an awesome resolution like 2084 x 1280.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 22:13 3

12. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2098; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Technically, the p doesn't even apply. It only applies when talking about TV signals.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 23:53

16. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


True true. "p" for progressive. "i" for interlaced. Communications. :)

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 21:24

11. shamataa (Posts: 202; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Not seeing it happen?

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 00:13

17. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


i think apple needs to change its strategy... even they still survive with this strategy...

the price is a decent at $249 coz people will buy an ipod for the love of music.. but if they throw bigger memory on the $199 model and put 16GB version instead of the 8GB, it wont hurt its sales... since these "iPad Mini" 's internal memory starts at 8GB right?..

but if they stick to the price $199 on 8GB version and the iPad Mini at $249 at same 8GB version..it is STUPID marketing...

apple needs to make sure that it wont hurt their other devices share.. so if they will throw a 16GB on the $199 iPod, it is a decent pricing and they will throw 8GB on iPad mini at $249, it is also decent...

but i think iPad mini isnt catchy... should try iNote or iTab or iReader since its a little iPad and it will work like a notebook and/or ebook (i should throw iMini but it is already a name of one of their device) but i dont know if sammy will sue them!

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 04:25

18. jsdechavez (Posts: 699; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


I think that would be the logical thing to do since the first flood of W8 tabs would definitely start nipping at their sales... Releasing an ipad mini would help the brand stick..

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 04:47 2

19. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 627; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Well maybe iPod is obsolete for Apple for some time now (just like MacBook, which seems to be of completely exotic function now), so maybe they will just undertake the acceleration for its retirement.

But in general, I still think iPad Mini is not going to happen at all, despite all the rumors and "confirmations" from so-called "business analysts".

It's just not the way Apple works - to have multiple products in the same category. iPod was like that, but since iPhone this was their fundamental strategy. And most succesful.

Sure, it's Tim Cook now, but I don't think they are ready to take such a desperate move that involves radical strategy change. Because frankly they are still far from desperate in tablet marketshare any it will stay so for at least some time - even if Google and Microsoft gain considerable share in the months to come.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 05:25 1

20. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


$249? Apple? No sorry.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 09:11 3

21. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6131; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Apple isn't CHEAP. they make expensive products my guess will be 399$ and other tablets still have better prices. you're only paying for the name

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 04:03

23. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 627; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Exactly, Apple doesn't compete with prices. Their market is composed of consumers that think that money is no object when it comes to Apple. So releasing "compromise" device just to be cheaper is not the way Apple works.

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 00:04

22. shuaibhere (Posts: 1297; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


What ever the price well be ifans will by all the gadgets apple makes...they will buy ipad, ipad mini, iphone, ipod.......anything they make........add macs in the list......

They are so mad on apple....

posted on 03 Sep 2012, 08:36

24. DigitalMD (Posts: 226; Member since: 17 Feb 2010)


Why even conjecture. Apple will clearly follow their 70% profit margin scheme.
I-pad Mini will be $399 - $599 depending on storage size.

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