Although Apple itself has yet to confirm the iPad Mini even exists, rumors have swirled for months that the company plans to announce a new smaller iPad. Now the UK’s Guardian says “industry sources” tell it that Apple will keep the iPad Mini’s price low by not including a 3G capability.
Amazon did the same thing when it introduced the Kindle Fire last year at the breakthrough price of $199, offering just a Wi-Fi version.
Price is going to be a key consideration in how well the iPad Mini sells and impacts sales of competitors like the Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7. The iPad Mini is expected to be slightly bigger than those 7-inch models with a 7.85-inch display (the standard iPad is 9.7-inches).
Apple already offers the older iPad 2 at a base price of $399. Many have speculated the iPad Mini will be priced starting at $299.
“I can’t believe Apple would sell it for more $300,” says analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, who adds it’s unlikely Apple would go in the other direction as low as $199.
“We don’t yet know what the iPad Mini is for sure, but we do know that Apple doesn’t have to play at the bottom of the barrel. Consumers see anything Apple makes as a cut above low end devices,” he added.
“They’re willing to pay for Apple’s ecosystem, quality and especially service.”
Some othe reports speculate the iPad Mini could in fact be offered as slow as $200 - $249.
The newest Retina Display iPad can operate on either 3G or 4G networks. The iPad Mini is expected to have a lower resolution display compared to the Retina Display.