'Overpriced' Apple iPad Mini a 'major step backwards'

Oct 24, 2012

The new device is the equal of its rivals, so why is it so much more expensive?

Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

THE DEVICE that Steve Jobs said he would never make has arrived. Apple unveiled the iPad Mini, a 7.9-inch tablet designed to take on rivals like the Samsung Galaxy, Amazon's Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7.

The "pencil-thin" device is just 0.3in thick and weighs 300g, the same as a pad of paper, and was unleashed at an event in San Jose, California, yesterday. But despite the usual hoop-la that accompanies an Apple launch the reception has been mixed.

The main problem is the price. The iPad Mini will go on sale on 2 November and the basic Wi-Fi-only model, with 16GB storage, will cost £269 in the UK and $329 in the US. That is £110 more than an equivalent Kindle Fire and £60 more than a Nexus 7.

"With that starting price, the company is sticking to its strategy of charging a premium for its products to preserve industry-leading margins," says Bloomberg. But Gizmodo puts it differently: the iPad Mini is "certifiably overpriced".

Not only that, it adds. The display is "noticeably worse" than its rivals and the processor is underpowered. “Charging so much more for a product that's not clearly so much better is a major step backwards for Apple".

Jason Jenkins, the editor of CNet UK, told The Daily Telegraph he predicted "a bloodbath" and said Apple was "scared". He explained: "There is a real chance one of its rivals could take its dominant tablet market share away and that could lose their dominant market position... I'm not sure it's worth the extra money for the use you'll get out of it."

But the new device will still fly off the shelves, insists BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones. "We mustn't underestimate the sheer power of the iPad brand... I'm sure it will sell well to people who wanted but couldn't quite afford the full-size version."

Tech Crunch is more positive. It calls the iPad Mini "a super impressive piece of hardware". It "feels like a revelation: proof that a diminutive tablet works, and works well".

Shares in Apple fell after the launch and there was more disquiet thanks to another new product. "Apple also pulled off an enormous surprise - not least for owners of the third-generation iPad launched in March - by announcing a fourth-generation device," reports PC Pro. "Quite why Apple felt the need to refresh the 9.7in iPad range only seven months after the last release is a mystery".

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As overpriced as Apple always are, I'm sure the Sheeple of the world will flock out to buy the mini tablet with the little picture of the bitten apple on it. Personally I have no tablet but will be trying the Kindle Fire HD. I'm not one to follow trends.

If I can have an iPad that works well and used the Apps that I've collected, and is smaller and lighter (fitting in my purses better), you bet I'll be buying it! Name-calling is silly, and won't deter people, Dan T. Why anyone carries such disdain (verging on hatred) for people who like a design and function aesthetic is unfathomable to me!

It's not so much the design or function, or at least not in isolation to the brand. There are some other wonderful devices out there but the media just harp on, unfairly, about Apple devices. Yes they are good, but they are no longer innovative or unique and don't deserve the religious-like fervour that the iSheep fawn those devices with.

That's the end of the sermon for today, now let's stand and give praise to the almighty...

"Our Steve, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..."

I don't personally need an iPad mini, as I already have an iPad 2 which im more than happy with. But I would much rather have an iPad mini than one of those horrible clunky Android tablets. It's no wonder they don't get any media hype - just look at the state of them!

The Mini-Pad - Jason Jenkins, the editor of CNet UK, told The Daily Telegraph he predicted "a bloodbath"
very strange, unusual, bizarre