Like many, the news of the rumored iPad Mini pricing flew across my radar this weekend. The source came from a screenshot released on a German-based website Mobile Geeks. These leaks amount to unfounded speculation and a grainy screenshot is not incident enough to get all excited or disappointed. I have little reason to believe these prices are real. Yes, a smaller iPad is anticipated and some expect it to make a splash in the 7-inch market when it is finally released. We don’t even know for sure if it will be called the “iPad Mini” for sure yet. But this all bears commenting. We’ll start with translating that page with Google’s Translate utility, which gives me the following:
We should perhaps be confirmed only with caution, because it is not out yet if this is now truly the “real deal” is, or whether it is here only once is only a placeholder that will be replaced later by the actual prices . In addition, I’ve just in the post by friend caschy learned that in each local market, such data can be entered. Surely we can be so only if we know that this data has been entered centrally and be available in all markets in the system.
But here the most important thing – the prices! The Go Go at 249 euros, confirming that Apple has of course the competitors Amazon and Google in mind.
It goes on to describe forthcoming cellular integration technology and of course, prices. The prices are the biggest issue for me as it presents something of a paradox. Apple has never been in the tablet game to lose. In fact the profit margins for their tablets is believed to be rather significant as the company has mastered the supply chain and manufacturing aspects of the business like no other. Of course, they have a huge cash cow in the iTunes market to rely on. It’s just very difficult to project that Apple would look at taking on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD product on price when Amazon reportedly nets nothing from the Kindle Fire tablet at this point. The Kindle Fire and latest edition Fire HD of course are the 7-inch tablet market leaders, with the acclaimed Google Nexus 7 as the upstart challengers. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is not yet available in Europe, but if you translate these supposed iPad Mini prices into US dollars, you will find a comparable iPad Mini at the lower end of this reported lineup at a very interesting price:
- 249 euros: Apple iPad Mini 8 GB Wi-Fi
- 349 Euro: Apple iPad Mini 8 GB Wi-Fi and UMTS
- 349 euros: Apple iPad 16 GB Wi-Fi Mini
- 449 Euro: Apple iPad 16 GB Wi-Fi Mini and UMTS
- 449 euros: Apple iPad 32 GB Wi-Fi Mini
- 549 Euro: Apple iPad 32 GB Wi-Fi Mini and UMTS
- 549 euros: Apple iPad 64 GB Wi-Fi Mini
- 649 Euro: Apple iPad 64 GB Wi-Fi Mini and UMTS
So that converts to about $322 dollars for the 7-inch iPad mini (8GB) compared to the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (16GB)at $199.
And while speculation abounds that may seem to some that Apple benefits from the buzz in what follows as pent-up anticipation for the product. I don’t see that being the case when the speculation is around price. Apple seems to favor buzz around product and features, not price – this is not their game, the numbers look wrong, and I find it hard to believe.
One must consider the possibility here that Apple could sell these for no profit or even at a loss. Given their cash store, ability to rely on the App Store, and position to quickly dominate the market share in the 7-inch tablet space, there may be some credence to that proposition, but it’s not going to happen. One has to question whether such a strategy makes any sense in the big picture. Comparing prices based on this reported leak and considering the reason why Kindle Fire has the share of the market they do is based on the value proposition – it is very clear that the iPad Mini at this price cannot compete with Amazon’s device. Further, putting out an iPad Mini at this price point could undercut the very profitable value that Apple has enjoyed with its regular iPad product. Looking at all these factors, it appears there’s no need to take on and compete with the Kindle device. The iPad Mini may not be intended to be a competitor to Kindle at all, it could be designed as a competitor to Microsoft’s upcoming Surface offerings – designed to contend in business environments and at a different price point than the Kindle lineup provides. Again, we’ll know more once we move past rumors, get official word on the iPad Mini and its pricing, and get more information from Microsoft on those same points.