Apple has finally officially unveiled its iPad Mini. New iPad is small, as thin as a pencil, and as light as a pad of paper. However, it’s not low in price. This technology may run into difficulty stealing customers away from Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD. iPad mini starts at $329.
“It is every inch an iPad,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told the crowd moments after introducing the long-rumored device. “The full iPad experience. There’s less of it, but no less to it,” the company later reiterated.
Apple, however, faced a high cost for iPad mini components and wasn’t willing to give up its cushy profit margins, analysts said. Some have hoped the iPad mini would be priced closer to competing tablets or would come with the high-resolution “retina” display included on the latest 9.7-inch iPad, which would better justify the price.
But Bill Choi, an analyst at Janney Capital Markets, said although some investors were let down by the iPad mini’s price, he expected the device would sell well among women and consumers 16 and younger.
The iPad mini will reportedly come with a lower resolution screen than that of the standard iPad, and production of those screens began last month via Taiwan’s AU Optronics and South Korea’s LG Display. Other rumors indicate that the iPad’s smaller sibling will be priced competitively against Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, both available starting at $199.
Apple already sells the world’s bestselling tablet with the regular-size iPad. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company recently sold its 100 millionth iPad, 21/2 years after its debut, and said the iPad accounts for 91% of tablet Web traffic.
The iPad mini, which will be available for pre-order Friday, will ship Nov. 2 for Wi-Fi-only versions and two weeks later for models that come with a cellular data plan. It comes in black and in white and is equipped with a FaceTime HD camera, iSight camera with HD video recording, speedy wireless and 10 hours of battery life.
At the media event, Apple also announced a slew of updates to existing products, including the fourth generation of its 9.7-inch iPad, a 13-inch MacBook Pro with retina display, an improved Mac mini computer and a redesigned iMac desktop computer with a 5-millimeter edge.