With Apple and Microsoft both teasing their upcoming tablet launches earlier this morning and Microsoft finally announcing price points for its iPad contender, we are beginning to wonder just how competitive price-wise the iPad mini is going to be against other products, seven-inchers in particular.

Apple has economies of scale playing to its favor which it readily exploited to deliver the original iPad, billing it as a “magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price” at then unheard-of $499. A lot has changed since 2010.

Nowadays, for half the price one can get a perfectly capable seven-inch Nexus 7 tablet from Google with sixteen gigabytes of storage ($199 for the eight gig version). It doesn’t run your App Store apps, lacks the iPad’s build quality and skimps on certain hardware features, but otherwise is a pretty decent tablet. And with Android Jelly Bean running on Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor, Google’s tablet certainly is no slouch.

There’s also the new Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon (it sells at cost). With those inexpensive devices rapidly picking up steam and catching up on the iPad, no wonder Apple had to respond. Now, the third-generation 9.7-inch iPad begins at $499 and goes all the way up to $839 for the flagship 64GB model with 4G LTE networking.

The company also kept the previous-generation iPad 2 with 16 gigabytes of storage and WiFi-only networking at a reduced price of $399, a hundred bucks cheaper than before. Which brings us to today’s poll: where should a small-factor iPad start at?

Really, just how much should the baseline 8GB WiFi-only iPad mini cost?

This is what the tablet landscape currently looks like, via The Wall Street Journal.

Click to enlarge

Again, this isn’t asking what you’d want the iPad mini to cost but rather what you think Apple will price it at, based on the below iOS device price matrix.

Should it begin at $229?

Or $249?

$349, you say?

Do your math and cast your vote now.

Consider Apple now sells the previous-generation iPod touch with eight gigabytes of storage for just $199. The latest iPod touch with 16 gigabytes of storage begins at $299.

No matter how you look at it, the iPad mini should cover the missing price umbrella.

As you can see from the above chart, courtesy of Ryan Jones, everything bellow $399 is literally up for grabs in the tablet space, with Google and Amazon both happily exploiting an opportunity to grab those buyers and introduce them to their respective ecosystems.

Make no mistake, this is about iTunes versus Amazon’s store versus Google’s Play Store.

As always, don’t shy away from explaining your vote and voicing your opinion down in the comments.

  • Johnathan Jennings

    Why the fuck would the IPAD be less than an IPOD. This shit doesn’t make since.

    • Because the iPad mini will be a lower grade product. No retina, and other stuff like that.

      • if what you say is true then whats the point in apple making something that wont sell? i dont see apple killing them self with a low grade product when they are on top of the tablet market. i believe it will be what the name is and thats a smaller version of the ipad.i dont see apple not doing that but we will see.

      • to make it cheaper, it is like a smaller iPad 2, non retina, with a revamped design. selling at $299

    • Solowalker

      I’m going to ignore your unnecessarily foul language and throw out a thought or two that makes it plausible.

      1) iPads are cheaper than iPhones and there’s a full size iPad (2) that’s the same price as an iPod touch. They don’t need *all* models to be cheaper than an iPod touch, just one model to start down there.
      2) Economies of scale on proven (and slightly older) technology such as a non-retina display made out of the same screens as the old 3GS and an A5 processor. Also, the AppleTV is only $99 and gets you most of the way there. An extra $150 or so could easily get in a screen and battery. And for all we know the new 4″ Retina screen could cost the same as or more than an 8″ non-retina display.
      3) Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD ($200) are being sold at cost with smaller economies of scale than Apple has (so parts are more expensive). Apple can use higher quality parts at a greater economy of scale and arrive at the same (or less) cost than those devices. Throw in Apple’s traditional ~20-30% beginning margin and you can easily arrive at $250 for an Apple quality device.

      Also something to consider is that Apple has previously used the success of other products (i.e. iPhone) to temporarily subsidize the prices of new products (like the unibody MacBook Pro and iPad) while they get on their feet. They took the risk of a financial hit in the short term to make a higher quality product at the same or cheaper price as people were expecting/used to paying. Fortunately for them, the demand for each new product they did that for balanced out the new costs of a new product and they never actually lost any money but instead have continued to increase their revenue dramatically year-over-year.

      Now whether or not Apple does it, we don’t know. But there is precedent and definitely possibility.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Dude, they WILL put the A5 in there, but they wil NOT have a non retina screen. It’ll be $349. Bet money.

    • cause they are different products aimed at different folks..

  • I don’t think an iPad mini will come out at all.

    • well I am sure you are wrong….

  • iPad Mini: A5, Non-retina, 299$. Sounds about right.

    No way it’ll have a retina display – the iPad 3 is THE tablet whose biggest improvement is the retina display so why do that this year rather than next?? Retina willl come next yr, for the sake of being able to introduce something new.

    • non retina???? are you crazy… i will never buy old tech in 2012 doe 250 or 299… hlel no.. i skipped the ipad 2 due to lack of retina

      • Before iPhone retina you didnt even know you wanted that feature.

      • I skipped the ipad 3 due to lack of weight reduction. Looking forward to have same ipad 2 experience on a third of the weight.

    • Yujin

      i say a $300 retina display with an A6 chip with 8GB(something had to give) with dual cameras and 1gb of ram. duable…only one more week.

  • 249 is the best spot for it

  • i dont think it will be $229 cuz the ipod touch used to be $229 so the ipad mini wil probably start at $300 or $350.

  • wherever price Apple decides, people are going to buy it anyway.

  • i’m going with the 249 b/c it could possible kill the kindel fire hd and anything else out there but this is apple after all lol if it ends up 299 or 329 then your better off getting the ipad 2 new for 399. for me i wouldnt get one as i have an ipad 2 and dont see the point in getting a smaller ipad. but thats just me.

  • I voted $299. I own a Retina iPad but I’d buy one for my 79 years-old Windows impaired dad. I think a 16 GB or 32 GB model would be enough for his use. I think Apple should stay under $300 to be competitive but I’d go as far as €350 for at least 16 GB.

    • Yujin

      great gift for mom/dad grand parents….my grandpa got his ipad last xmas and he doesnt go anywhere without it…now he is imessaging, sending emails, picture, videos and facetiming….really has made a diference on how we keep in touch now that he is able to reach everyone….all the time even when we dont want to be reached lo

  • John herthop


  • John herthop

    Probably a souped-up a4 or a5. I doubt apple would dump an a6 on this thing.

  • goofygreek

    I say there should be an option for an ipad mini give away….. 🙂

  • Yujin

    apple cannot do and will not do anything under $300…if your sweet spot is below $300, you are NOT apple’s demographic, you can still get and android machine from the thousands of devices that are release weekly.

    A low price not only means sacrificing on materials and features, but also a bad customer experience which apple will not do…they have a brand and that brand is a luxury brand that people love…cheapening it by offering a $200 tablet is ridiculous and not even a good business sense as many of the cheapos/price conciouspeople buying these $200 NetTablets are really unable to afford or willig to pay for content and apps. thats why android users dont have a huge market share as far as usage goes..what do they do with these damn tablets? only google knows…(cause they spy on you to sell you ads hahhaha)

  • @dongiuj

    An Apple store or better yet, in my house!

  • it will not sell @ $199 because it will kill the iPod Touch 4th gen sales. Apple won’t put it to a level of $299 to compete with the new iPod Touch 5th gen. So i think it will start @ $250 for 8gb wifi. And it would not make sense to sell it above $330 for 8gb because obviously @ $400 it would be for an additional storage for a 16gb version, that again will compete with the iPad 2 16gb wifi. To sum it all, it is confusing. ~.~

  • Ben

    I think that they will cut the previous gen iPod Touch and put a $199 price tag on the iPad Mini.

  • Apanizo2

    The new iPad mini should not be less than the iPod touch, which is smaller. $329.00

    • Hunter Gordon

      Why not ? iPhone cost more than the ipad

      • Apanizo2

        That’s true but most people don’t realize that because they buy under a two year contract.

  • Hunter Gordon

    If is retina it will probly be $300 if not retina $250 , apple will have a very hard time selling a non retina display ipad mini for $300 or $329 ppl will just buy a nexus there is supposed to be a $99 tablet from google coming out before the end of this year .