Another decision for tablet buyers to make. Jump on the 3 or wait for the mini? Or just get both? Hmm...
I'm sure if it's produced it will sell well. More of a super iPod Touch than a mini-iPad, though. I think the pricing will be tricky. For example, one of the major strengths of the iPad is that it can be "stretched" to be a content creation device. Not perfect for that purpose, but at least adequate for many people. But even if the 7.85" version includes all the requisite features including bluetooth for a keyboard, the smaller screen inhibits its use for content creation beyond basic email management and messaging.
So how to price it? I don't see Apple dipping down to the Kindle Fire price point. Apple doesn't have a business model that enables them to sell the range of non-digital content that Amazon can sell. But at anything much beyond $300 it doesn't compete well with cheaper tablets or with the larger iPad (especially if the iPad 2 stays in the mix at $399.) So that puts its price point at about $299, I suspect. But that price point raises other risks for Apple by potentially cannibalizing larger iPad sales where the unit margin is significantly greater. Unless, of course, the mini is pitched as a more pure media consumption device similar to the KF.
Perhaps Apple is willing to give up margin on the unit and make it up with iTunes content revenue. That would be a change in corporate strategy and culture but perhaps dominating all niches of the tablet market is worth it to them. In any event, it's clear that a mini iPad won't enjoy the same unobstructed path to dominance that the original iPad had. Lots of other options including the Kindle Fire are already out there. Making a big splash in a market with existing competitors is considerably more challenging than making a splash where no other rivals yet exist.
I don't believe that Apple would waste money like that..!!
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