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Apple goes for the kill in the tablet market

Although tablets have long existed on the market, it wasn't until Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 that the world stood up and took notice. Apple followed up on the success of the original with the iPad 2 in 2011 and the "New iPad" earlier this year.
While those 9.7" tablets were introduced with price points of $499 and above, Apple today is looking to conquer the budget market with the introduction of the iPad mini. The iPad mini forgoes the bulkier frame of its larger siblings for a more svelte frame and 7.85" display.

Speaking of the display, Apple's competitors can gloat a bit on this aspect of the iPad mini; at least when it comes to screen resolution. Like the original iPad and iPad 2, the iPad mini sports a 1024x768 resolution screen. Compared to the competition from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, the iPad mini comes up short:
Kindle Fire HD 7": 1280x800
Kindle Fire HD 8.9": 1920x1080
Nook HD 7": 1440x900
Nook HD+ 8.9": 1920x1280
Despite the seemingly archaic screen resolution -- which is being retained to maintain compatibility with the existing iPad app library and to reduce power consumption -- Apple points to superb viewing angles and better color reproduction.
The iPad mini uses a dual-core A5 processor, faster WiFi, Lightning connector, and includes a 5MP cameras on the back. The iPad mini is just 7.2mm thin, and weighs just 0.68 pounds. Battery life is rated at 10 hours.

The iPad mini starts at $329 for the 16GB model; add $100 for 32GB and $200 for 64GB. If you want LTE, you can add an additional $130 to each of those prices. The iPad mini will be available for pre-order starting Friday. The WiFi models will ship November 2.
The 9.7" iPad also got an update (now called the fourth generation model), and uses an A6X processor which is twice as fast as the previous A5X. It also has twice the graphics performance. The device has been updated with a FaceTime HD camera, Lightning dock connector, and faster Wi-Fi. It will also be available for pre-order on Friday.

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$299 would have been better
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 10/23/2012 2:21:37 PM , Rating: 5
Getting an iPad under the 3-handle would have been better IMO.

RE: $299 would have been better
By daveinternets on 10/23/2012 2:26:44 PM , Rating: 5
I was surprised by this as well. Once I heard the 1024x768 and the A5 chip, I thought, wow, they are going for the kill here. $249 or $299 max with those low specs.

Then they come out and said $329 for 16 GB, $459 if you want LTE! Simply amazing. And by that I mean it is simply amazing that they will sell more than 50K of these (because we all know the kool-aid drinkers will be all over this).

RE: $299 would have been better
By voodoobunny on 10/23/2012 2:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that 299 would have been better - the extra $30 (plus $100 for accessories) will definitely tip the scales for some people - but I think a lot of people will buy this as a "second iPad". If you've already invested in a lot of apps that a little someone really likes, and you want to get control of *your* device back without having to rebuild your app library from scratch, then the Mini makes a lot of sense.

I'm thinking "little fingers, little fingers"....

RE: $299 would have been better
By kmmatney on 10/23/2012 2:46:47 PM , Rating: 1
I have 2 iPads in the house (one mine and other other my sons), and I really don't see the point of the mini. I like about the larger screen of the iPad, but web pages are still quite small, and you have to do a lot of zooming to hit the right button. I'd rather just use my Phone as my "mini". You can get normal iPads at Microncenter for $449, and a new iPad2 is only $359!

RE: $299 would have been better
By Nortel on 10/23/2012 3:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
The point of this is to compete against the iPod touch. If ou have two iPads and an iPhone 5, there would be no point in having one of these mini's. The iPod touch is $299 so anyone thinking the mini would be the same price was out to lunch.

RE: $299 would have been better
By DrChemist on 10/23/2012 3:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
That is the big disappointment in the whole thing. Same tech as the iPad 2 with a smaller screen by almost 2" for just about the same price. You will soon find that the iPad 2 will be either removed from the market or sell what is left and that is it. Because if I had a choice for the iPad 2 or iPad mini you would choose the larger screen any day. Not to mention cheaper accessories.

RE: $299 would have been better
By DJ Brandon on 10/24/2012 11:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
I am usually one of the first to defend apple but this is a little sad. They are overcharging and the specs are not impressive at all. I thought for once they would actually compete at a lower ball game but apparently not.

RE: $299 would have been better
By lightfoot on 10/23/2012 2:27:26 PM , Rating: 3
$249 would have been reasonable. Still underwhelming, but reasonable.

Anything higher is just stupid.

But Apple has a reputation to maintain as the pusher of overpriced electronic toys. The good news is that this price point makes the Microsoft Surface seem far more compelling.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By Brandon Hill on 10/23/2012 2:45:21 PM , Rating: 4
This pains me to my very core, but I'm going to have to side with Tony Swash on this one.

With the iPad 4 at $499 (A6X processor which is twice as fast) and the iPad mini at $329, I don't think that Surface will gain much traction.

Add to the fact that Surface doesn't run legacy apps and requires people to embrace all-new Metro apps means that it's an uphill battle.

RE: $299 would have been better
By kmmatney on 10/23/2012 2:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
Microcenter sells the iPad2 for $359 as well...

RE: $299 would have been better
By Kyuu on 10/23/2012 2:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's $499 for the new iPad w/ A6X with only 16GB of storage. To get the same amount as the Surface, you have to go up to $599. Then, in order to use USB or SD cards, you have to get $50 cables (for each).

When you add it all up, the iPad is a much more expensive proposition than the Surface. So unless you are locked into the Apple ecosystem or just aren't paying attention, I don't see the appeal of the iPad over the Surface or other WinRT tablets.

RE: $299 would have been better
By MaulBall789 on 10/23/2012 3:11:14 PM , Rating: 3
While I agree with you that the price on the Mini is absurd, you don't need the cables for USB or SD cards. Any documents or photos that are on the iPad you can sync with your PC wirelessly or even directly to the PC or Mac (that cable is included) and make any docs that were created in apps that have that capability available to you that way. No need to spend $100 or more for cables.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By retrospooty on 10/23/2012 9:00:46 PM , Rating: 4
Seriously Tony, not mocking you... What makes you so devout on this company??? I mean really, what can happen in someones life to make them so enamored with a company of all things?

I mean, I get liking a particular company, but to become so enthralled must be an interesting story at least. Why the extreme fanaticism?

RE: $299 would have been better
By maugrimtr on 10/24/2012 9:00:22 AM , Rating: 2
Someone is going to really disappointed because they fail to learn from history. Business can make a fortune revolving around key concepts and people in the short term but still lose large in the long run.

Apple lost its visionary leader. It's now seeing other companies moving rapidly to emulate its other advantages. Samsung has already started to dominate market share for smartphones, and Microsoft have moved into creating, in what most reviewers agree is, a well engineered competing product that runs Windows. Its OEMs just got a shocking wake-up call for 2013.

Apple's advantages are beginning to erode and they've also run out of market segments to revolutionize and dominate. iPods, iPhones and iPads are the full extent of anyone's imagined Sci-Fi future for mobile technology. Eye glasses or brain impants aside ;).

The next step will be share price erosion. Everyone knows that Apple is overpriced against market average and once investors notice the lack of other markets to invade, the growing competition and the strategic shifts in Samsung/Microsoft, that share price will start making people really nervous. Apple is long overdue a market correction once investor hysteria (read: speculation on continued bubble pricing) subsides.

What then for Apple?

Apple's genius has been its marketing and ability to so perfectly match customer expectations (at least when entering a market). That's the core pillar of their success. They have managed to avoid races to the bottom on prices through clever maneuvering and secretive development. That simply can't last - they're out of wriggle space and being forced into real competition. Now we have taller iPhones and smaller iPads - differentiation like that do not occur without something stressing your CEO about your competitiveness.

If they are really lucky, their decline will be fairly shallow - putting them on par with their peers. That might be enough to sustain them (if not their share price) so they can branch out into a stable diversified corporation that is not wholly reliant on a handful of markets under duress.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/24/2012 11:51:43 AM , Rating: 1
Tee hee - here we go again.

Apple is doomed! Again. or at least doomed to get smaller. or make less money or something.

In fact of course the opposite will happen. How pleasing.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/24/2012 12:58:14 PM , Rating: 4
Definition of FANATIC
: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion <they're fanatic about politics>
— fanatic noun
— fa·nat·i·cal·ly adverb
— fa·nat·i·cal·ness noun
See fanatic defined for kids »

= You

RE: $299 would have been better
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/24/2012 1:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Also, this "spends minutes" bullshit, you are all over this place all day, Android/MS articles included. You post the same exact shit day in and day out.

You are a loser... nothing more.

RE: $299 would have been better
By retrospooty on 10/24/2012 1:28:14 PM , Rating: 3
If that is how you see it, I dont know what to say... It sounds delusional. "Spends a few minutes a day" and "posting facts" are two phrases that just aren't true. You spend a great deal of time and effort defending Apple, every move they make and every product regardless of any info given as if you are on a mission. You have some facts, mixed with conjecture and spin and you regularly ignore facts to the contrary. In other words when evaluating "The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth", you get a Yes, No No.

You clearly have an agenda here, and I was just trying to get to the root of it. You do not simply "like Apple", that is gross misuse of the word "like" LOL. A lot of people like a particular company, they don't spend time defending every move they make and every single product every single day. What is it?

RE: $299 would have been better
By cyberguyz on 10/24/2012 5:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
My $250 Asus Nexus 7 eats this thing for lunch.

Just sayin..

RE: $299 would have been better
By degobah77 on 10/24/2012 7:36:46 AM , Rating: 1
Are you talking about profits again?

The rest of us are talking about technology.

RE: $299 would have been better
By NellyFromMA on 10/24/2012 3:18:32 PM , Rating: 1
I just want to know how Apple's market and supply dominance translates to consumer benefit, especially if they will never see a discount when compared to other products.

RE: $299 would have been better
By tayb on 10/23/2012 3:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
At the end of the day Surface RT is not running Windows. You don't have access to the gigantic software library that has been built up over the years. In my opinion this moves Surface RT squarely into "toy" territory.

Surface RT comes with more space but Windows RT + Office takes up 12GB of space. iOS 6 takes up just under 1 GB. It's hard to put a value on USB ports or SD card slots but Android tablets have all of those things for cheaper than the iPad and they are still being crushed.

In my humble opinion it all comes down to app availability. People want a device that works well and runs a ton of apps.

RE: $299 would have been better
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 3:41:05 PM , Rating: 2
With the iPad you're getting a tablet that is significantly faster than any other tablet on the market with a much better screen than the Surface, plus all that developer support.

A Windows RT tablet is not competitive with an iPad at that price, unfortunately. It isn't competitive on specs or app selection in any way.

Surface Pro is what people should be waiting for, and that is more of an alternative to an ultrabook given its cost.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Spuke on 10/23/2012 5:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
Surface Pro is what people should be waiting for, and that is more of an alternative to an ultrabook given its cost.
Quite frankly, I'm disappointed in the Surface RT but it's not totally unexpected. The iPad Mini is disappointing as well but given the iPhone5, that shouldn't surprise either. The Surface Pro IS what I'm interested in and will see how that pans out.

By inperfectdarkness on 10/23/2012 11:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. MS pushing the underpowered, poor-resolution, untested UI surface at a higher price than existing competition (with a commanding share of the market) makes about as much sense as HP announcing it will kill its PC division.

RE: $299 would have been better
By NellyFromMA on 10/24/2012 3:12:12 PM , Rating: 1
the iPad succeeded with no apps out of the gate. Also, does the iPad have some established killer app that for some reason won't or can't be ported over?

RE: $299 would have been better
By NellyFromMA on 10/25/2012 10:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I see, downrated, but no legitimate answer to the question? Sorry, thought we were trying to like technology, not brands.

RE: $299 would have been better
By themaster08 on 10/23/2012 3:02:23 PM , Rating: 1
Who gives a shit? That doesn't make the iPad a better device for my use.

RE: $299 would have been better
By DrChemist on 10/23/2012 3:41:49 PM , Rating: 3
No USB connector or ability to do work. I think I'll get the surface. Most people i know have given their iPads to their kids bc all they can do is play angry birds and check email. Maybe get a half ass internet experience. Surface RT Pro is where it's at. My guess is $799 - $899 for the Surface Pro as a laptop will be the deal breaker for buying this over everything. If I wanted a reader I will by the cheapest thing you can get for <$200

RE: $299 would have been better
By 91TTZ on 10/23/2012 4:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to get work done you're not going to be using a tablet anyway.

For less than $799 you can get a very usable laptop that runs all Windows-compatible applications and has the mouse and keyboard needed to do actual work.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Taft12 on 10/23/2012 4:14:38 PM , Rating: 1
WTF is "ability to do work"?

RE: $299 would have been better
By DrChemist on 10/23/2012 5:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
We are talking about the mobile people who travel and move around that want an ultrabook but want tablet portability and ease. RT Pro will replace the ultrabook, notebook, netbook and tablet. That way I have my desktop for heavy tasks and processing and the surface RT pro for everything else. Ability to do work is when I have a presentation or something I need to do while on the road before a meeting, I can pop it out and fix it faster than a laptop. iPad can't do that. Face it without MS Office and full internet you have just a toy that plays videos and crap games.

RE: $299 would have been better
By tayb on 10/23/2012 6:49:39 PM , Rating: 3
Surface RT and Surface Pro are two different tablets. One is running Windows RT while the other is running Windows 8.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By EnzoFX on 10/23/2012 2:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. $249 would have been too cheap for apple hah. The $49 being a tax for build quality IMO. So considering the Nexus is being sold at no profit for $200... yeah.

Well these should show up at $299 prob for a refurb. I was least excited about the mini going into this, but now I really see it is an aggressive push. It's internals are a iPad 2, but updated cams and connectivity. It's just an argument of portability, which there is a big market for. The 4x3 ratio makes sense, when they showed the Nexus in landscape mode said it all. The fact that you get a huge tablet market app is what seals the deal. I'm tired of stretched out apps on Android.

The newer styling cues are a nice touch as well. The black one, am I right? =P

RE: $299 would have been better
By Shadowself on 10/23/2012 2:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it should have been starting at $299 at most. The extra $30 is 100% unwarranted.

Maybe they'll have supply issues like the iPhone5 and they want to make as much as they can because they can't ship them in huge quantities? Make an extra $30 on each of them while supplies are severely constrained?

I can't think of any other reason for such a stupid price point.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why everyone thinks this is so high for Apple. You're getting the same guts as an iPad 2 for $70 less. You really think 2.5" of screen space is worth more than $70? Screen size may be the most physically obvious feature, but cost of manufacturing doesn't scale with dimension.

Just because something is 1/2 the size doesn't mean it should be 1/2 the price. Heck, ultrabooks and slim laptops are the opposite -- you pay a premium for the shrinkage.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 4:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
Correction: 1.8" of screen space

RE: $299 would have been better
By Shadowself on 10/23/2012 6:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the "1.8" smaller" that is the issue. It's that it is 65% of the screen real estate of the iPad2 with two generations old technology. AND it has a different class of competitors than the iPad2/3/4 does. Virtually all the competitors are as or more capable and cost less. Simply put, Apple is foolish if it thinks it can command the same margins in the 7" class as it can in the 10" class. At least in the 10" class the hardware is not an "also ran".

RE: $299 would have been better
By marvdmartian on 10/24/2012 9:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
Shoot, the "MAGIC" alone is worth the extra $30!

RE: $299 would have been better
By fishman on 10/23/2012 2:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
Not gonna happen with the ipod touch at $299.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
iPod Touch sales are going to be destroyed by this. I would much rather have a mini tablet I can actually SEE what I'm reading/playing for $30 more. Anyone who owns/wanted an iPod touch for gaming will buy this instead. (No, I'm not one of them. I don't and will never own an iProduct and touchscreen gaming sucks.)

RE: $299 would have been better
By Nortel on 10/23/2012 3:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
iPod touch has its place. It's 16gb larger default size, fits into your pocket, higher resolution and comes with the new earbuds. I'm sure the color options will appeal to many people as well.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
$329 iPad Mini is 16GB, not 8GB.
I do agree the size part might influence some sales for those who want a PMP. But even if iPod Touch does survive, probably many of iPad Mini sales will be diverted from potential Touch purchases.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I see Touch comes at 32GB default. Sorry. Didn't realize that.

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 10/23/2012 4:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
16GB Touch should be $199, 32GB for $249.

What a piece of junk.
By Mizerable on 10/23/2012 2:27:01 PM , Rating: 1
What a piece of garbage.

an old-ass cpu with two A9 cores... archaic resolution

and retardedly high price for what it is.... I'm glad Apple's stock is tanking as soon as they announced that price.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By retrospooty on 10/23/2012 2:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
meh, I wouldnt say junk. Its a nice tablet and a nice size. A tad bit bigger than the 7 inch tablets out there and that res, although not as good as its ccompetition, isnt terrible at 7.8 inches. It's just priced too high. If it were $199 it would be worth a look.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By geddarkstorm on 10/23/2012 3:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
At this price point, it's easily bested by the Nexus 7. Apple just doesn't know how to play price wars any more; that or they are just that confident in their user base and brand loyalty. Who knows, they might be right on that.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By MaulBall789 on 10/23/2012 3:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
I like and own several Apple products: 2005 iPod, 2011 iPad, 2012 iPhone. I even still use that old iPod every now and again. But this iPad Mini starting at $329... that's an awful lot of sour KoolAid to drink. It's just too much, plain and simple.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 4:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
It is pointless if you already have a 10" iPad. I have a Kindle e-reader for books so I'm more than covered for both general use and reading.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By MaulBall789 on 10/23/2012 4:51:18 PM , Rating: 2
I am covered, yes, but I have a person that this Mini would have worked perfectly for. Though not at this price point. They already lost one Christmas sale, though Apple is probably not going to lose too much sleep over it.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
Apple just doesn't know how to play price wars any more

They've never played price wars.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By RufusM on 10/23/2012 3:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
At the price point, this is clearly for people who want an iPad and not just a tablet device.

I'm guessing the people who buy this will also have a full size iPad and want the small version reading or it will be for those who want an iPad but just can't scrape enough money together for a larger one.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By NellyFromMA on 10/24/2012 3:22:48 PM , Rating: 1
Apple doesn't sell hardware at cost becasue it doesn't need to. And thankfully, every app you use on it isn't hammered with ads.

The low quality of Android apps gets old after awhile. I love my S3 but I think thats mostly because I don't put sucky low quality apps on it, largely by avoiding most apps altogether.

Like it or not, Google is effectively giving away the Nexus 7 to not be overshaddowed as an also ran in the tablet market. That's not really a great business model for anyone, Google gets away with it because it profits on ads, the bane of all our existence.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By EnzoFX on 10/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: What a piece of junk.
By jimbojimbo on 10/23/2012 3:10:37 PM , Rating: 3
Up until today Apple fans were going off about how a 7" tablet with 1024x768 resolution was horrible and junk. Now Apple releases a 7.9" tablet with the same resolution and they're trying to rationalize how it's just fine?? WTF? How is this rational at all? What the hell is going on?

RE: What a piece of junk.
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/24/2012 8:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
They sure did... but now it's revolutionary because Apple did it!

RE: What a piece of junk.
By retrospooty on 10/24/2012 8:58:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yup... Its just like any Apple fanboy. 4G wasnt needed (until now) larger screens weren't needed (until now). Now NFC isnt needed (until next year, then its highly important, unless of course Apple skips it again).

Once Apple implements a feature, or form factor, it is instantly important.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By RufusM on 10/23/2012 3:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
Apple fanboi much?

RE: What a piece of junk.
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 3:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
Pixel density isn't up to the competition's but compromising app compatibility was the only other option, and Apple isn't going to do that.

Otherwise you're looking at an SoC that is faster than most flagship 10" Android tablets, let alone devices like the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD.

The A6X in the 10" iPad is something else, those are some uber specs I wasn't expecting. I'm sure Anandtech will have benchmarks up soon.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By Nortel on 10/23/2012 3:31:18 PM , Rating: 1
I'm glad Apple's stock is tanking as soon as they announced that price.

Stock is off by 2%. Maybe redefine 'tanked'. The mini will sell like crazy, they won't be able to make it fast enough, just like with previous releases. It's meant to be a book reader and the full sized iPad as the powerhouse. The Nexus 7 is being sold at cost so maybe you can shed some light on that brilliant decision.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By jimbojimbo on 10/23/2012 3:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly you're right. Why won't people just get a Kindle of any variety if they just want to read books especially when the resolution on this thing is horrible.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 3:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
Kindle Fire is meh for reading, as is an iPad, but MAN are the Kindle e-readers the best for that specific purpose (they suck at everything else).

I've owned Kindles since the first gen in 2007 and they just perfected it with the Kindle Paperwhite. I got mine a few weeks ago and it is just fantastic.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 4:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm actually surprised that the Kindle Paperwhite hasn't caught much discussion over here, it is a fantastic piece of hardware. Way cooler than the other non-iPad tablets out there.

I guess most people don't like to read? I dunno.

RE: What a piece of junk.
By 91TTZ on 10/23/2012 4:18:09 PM , Rating: 3
It's meant to be a book reader and the full sized iPad as the powerhouse

No tablet running a cell-phone processor is meant to be a powerhouse. The speed is about the same as a decade-old entry level PC. It's impressive for its size but it's definitely not a powerhouse.

The Budget Market?
By MaulBall789 on 10/23/2012 2:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
For $329+? Are they crazy? This isn't going to fly. I actually own an iPad 2 and just got my first iPhone recently and I'm happy with them. But this Mini is way overpriced for what it is. Kindle Fire HD has a far better screen and is $130 less. If Apple were really serious about dominating this segment it would be around $250 max. This is a bad decision, and I don't think it will sell.

RE: The Budget Market?
By augiem on 10/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: The Budget Market?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 3:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
In one post they're the value/performance king, in another they're overpriced. Which is it? ;)

RE: The Budget Market?
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
Both actually. That's why I'm surprised.

RE: The Budget Market?
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
But I guess it's more nuanced than that...

For 3D GAMERS, the price/performance is excellent.
For a tablet as a WHOLE, it's not very good compared to Nexus 7.

If you're only concerned with 3D performance, it's the cheapest thing you can get for the price. If you're concerned about everything else, there are much cheaper better alternatives out there.

RE: The Budget Market?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 4:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, got it. :)

I'd say it goes beyond 3D game performance. Game availability (or general app availability since games only make up 20% of the app store) is the important thing for me. Hardware means little without developers. Most of what I play these days on the iPad aren't actually 3D games, they're German style board games or card games like Ascension or MtG. That sort of thing is excellent on a touchscreen, lots of depth but not constrained by the interface like a generic 3D shooter.

That said, I cannot wait for Frozen Synapse to finally drop on the iPad. My favorite PC game of 2011 is coming to the iPad and it actually seems better suited to a touchscreen (rare case like Plants vs Zombies or World Of Goo). FTL needs a port as well. :)

RE: The Budget Market?
By 91TTZ on 10/23/2012 4:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
All of Apple's devices are and always have been overpriced. That's become their trademark. They don't HAVE to compete on price like Android makers, and they're doing just fine.

Apple is terrified of Android. They've known since the original Android phones came along that a free OS with industry backing would seriously erode their profit margins, which is why they're doing everything they can to stifle Android's growth. It isn't working. Android devices are no longer bottom-of-the-barrel junk. They're very competitive in specs and quality and they're sold at a lower price.

Business is always a cat and mouse game. Large companies always want to maintain high profit margins while consumers want everything for the lowest price possible. Eventually the pressure to lower prices wins out and companies scramble to differentiate their products to regain that profit margin. They'll add features and try to tell us that those features justify the higher cost. At first that tactic works but eventually the product and market for that product evolves to the point that it's just a commodity.

RE: The Budget Market?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 3:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
Its in kind of a weird space, but then again I'm totally uninterested in a smaller tablet so I'm not the right person to judge. Compared to something like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 you are getting faster specs and a real selection of tablet apps, so that by itself justifies the higher price. Still though, $300 is a nice even number that feels like a better value than $330.

Either way, I have an iPad 3 and a Kindle Paperwhite so I'm more than covered there.

RE: The Budget Market?
By zephyrprime on 10/24/2012 10:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
Come on. This is Apple. It will sell millions.

By vanionBB on 10/23/2012 2:20:49 PM , Rating: 5
The live twitter feed was full of gushing apple fans when they announced the Mini. After the resolution was listed as 1024 x 786, one person asked if it was retina, which hearkens back to wanting the bigger GB's and the Wifi's, we can add does it have the Retina display to the list.

By GulWestfale on 10/23/2012 2:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
the biggest competitor to this is probably going to be the nexus 7 (and perhaps an upcoming nexus 9).
i'm glad that i bought th e16GB nexus 7; the screen is HD, the machine fits in my backpocket, build quality is great (surprisingly enough for an asus product), and it runs android. plus, it's $80 cheaper than the ipod touch maxi, eh i mean ipad mini.

but appletards will still buy millions of them... and then hold back jealousy whenever they see someone with an N7.

By xti on 10/23/2012 2:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
the app store support is a big deal, all the specs in the world arent going to magically make the iOS apps that seem to come out first.

and no, the alternative apps are not the same, its the only thing i didnt like after switching over.

By nafhan on 10/23/2012 2:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well, hold it about 2ft from your face and it's a retina display (i.e. individual pixels not resolvable to someone with 20/20 vision). Yeah meaningless buzzwords!

If you want a 1024 pixel, dual ARM 9, 7" tablet; Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire for less than half the price of this thing.

By btc909 on 10/23/2012 2:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
Can't imaging why Apple share are down at east $14 today. $329, whatever.

RE: 10/23/12
By lightfoot on 10/23/2012 2:58:29 PM , Rating: 1
Because Apple actually has to sell them in order for the price to matter.

Most people will look at the price and say - for only $170 more, I can get a real iPad.


For $130 less I can get a better tablet.

Price/performance puts this squarely in a no-man's zone.

RE: 10/23/12
By Uncle on 10/23/2012 3:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
If I read it right, the announcer Phil said that the ipad mini is a downsized, two generation ago,ipad2 for $329. So to me that is an admission of the expectation of the isheep laying their money down on a rehashed smaller iproduct, with a touch of hyper imarketing to the ilemmings . One of the reasons i am saying this is i care about humanity, but these isheep from apple continue to show the rest of the world that there is a sucker born every minute from the ifamily group.Kids emulate their parents, so i guess there will always be an ifamily somewhere who will keep iapple shareholders happy.:)

RE: 10/23/12
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 4:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
And yet it still sports faster hardware than 7" tablets, not to mention faster graphics hardware than other new 10" tablets.

Get mad at other hardware manufacturers for not keeping up, its crazy that Apple still has this sort of performance lead in tablets and phones.

Resolution is important, right? No, it's just size?
By nafhan on 10/23/2012 3:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
Presenting iPad mini: "It's got a bigger screen than the Nexus 7! Screen size is what matters, don't worry about the resolution!"

Contrast that to the presentation of the 13" MBP: "RESOLUTION IS ALL THAT MATTERS."

By testerguy on 10/24/2012 5:10:21 AM , Rating: 1
Um, just no.

Firstly - they never said resolution is all that matters.

Secondly - with the size issue, they were showing how they were offering 35% more screen area despite their product being thinner and lighter (and having better performance, better battery life and more apps) than the Nexus 7. Clearly if they wanted to just win on size they could make a 50" tablet, it seems you completely missed the point.

By nafhan on 10/24/2012 10:13:41 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're a little confused, and/or just buying into whatever they say. Through the current product cycle(s) Apple has been all about upping resolution. They've even coined their own marketing buzzword for high pixel density displays. Then, yesterday, they say that a lower res. larger screen is better than a higher density screen, and that doesn't seem a little odd to you?

AND, the A5 is faster than the Tegra 3, now? Yeah... It's got two fewer, slower A9 cores + a similar GPU (although, again, lower res. so, it won't be worked as hard). You could argue that the iPad mini is a little better for some gaming situations, and that's about it.

I would expect it to have better battery life. Lower resolution screens tend to use less power, and, really, Apple is just GOOD at battery life. No argument there.

Honestly, "I've already bought into the Apple ecosystem, and I want a cheaper/smaller iPad" is the reason to buy this thing. If you're comparing specs to competitors products at all, you probably aren't the target market for the iPad mini. It's a device Apple had to release; not one that they wanted to release. They're making the best of it, though, as they should.

Not bad...
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm very surprised that this thing is actually a darn good value for what it is in terms of price/performance. Android makers should seriously be ashamed that this 2 year old hardware can still trounce every tablet they have on the market by 40-100% margins in 3D graphics benchmarks (not all but many). Go to and compare iPad2 to Samsung GT-N8000 Galaxy Note 10.1 (fastest Android tablet on the market) or the Nexus 7.

Seriously, how long is it going to take the other ARM manufacturers to make something competitive? This has been going on for 5 years now. If every other SoC GPU besides PowerVR suck so bad, why don't they just use it? Sony did with the PS Vita. I'm very disappointed in Android makers.

I can't wait to see how the scores stack up on Windows 8 x86 tablets. Problem is those are all going to be very expensive initially, so iPad will remain the value/performance king for a while yet at least. Very weird. You don't normally think of Apple as bang for the buck.

RE: Not bad...
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
Let me qualify that: For people who buy on 3D horsepower (gamers, etc.), this is a good value.

The girls went gaga...
By aliasfox on 10/23/2012 5:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
The two girls who sit by me at work seem interested. They were complaining that the Retina iPads that they have are too heavy, and that they would want something lighter. I mentioned that this is nothing more than an iPad2 in a smaller case, with an older processor, but they didn't seem to care that the hardware is slower - they were more intrigued by the 0.68 lbs weight. One even went so far as to fold up a sheet of paper to see how big the iPad mini would be.

These are the types of people Apple is targeting with the iPad mini. They don't care about the Nexus 7 because they can't walk into a store and play with it, and they obviously don't care about hardware specs. And to top it off, they are fairly insensitive to price, meaning Apple can charge them $329 and accessory vendors can charge them another $50 for 'cute' cases and whatnot.

So as much as I think that this is a lackluster effort by Apple to plug a gap in their lineup before the holidays... well, it'll sell by the millions.

RE: The girls went gaga...
By testerguy on 10/24/2012 5:07:25 AM , Rating: 1
I actually logged in purely because of this comment (and logging in involves checking my email, so I don't take that lightly).

How ironic that the 'girls' you perceive as misinformed and 'not caring about specs' actually select the product with far higher performance.

Have you even visited Anandtech in the last year? The iPad 2 and iPad 3 are still faster than ANY Android tablet released to date. What you describe as an 'older processor' massively outperforms the Nexus 7, Fire, or Surface. It's not even close.

The only metric that the iPad Mini loses out to the Nexus on is resolution, but the Nexus has all sorts of screen colour quality issues.

Going further, the Nexus doesn't offer LTE, it has much less battery life, it has a tiny proportion of the apps that the iPad has, it's heavier, it's fatter, and its build quality has been widely criticised.

I find it fascinating how so many Android fans these days are completely oblivious to the relative performance of these tablets, but masquerade as being 'in the know' and looking down on the logical people who actually buy iPads.

RE: The girls went gaga...
By aliasfox on 10/24/2012 10:27:09 AM , Rating: 1
Android fan? I own an iPhone 4, an original iPad, my primary computer at home is a revA Mac Pro, I have a 2003 PowerBook G4 sitting on my coffee table, and my 2002 Power Mac G4 (dual processor, four HDDs, dual graphics cards, full PCI slots, max RAM) just blew its power supply. I have a Mac SE and a Performa in my parents' basement, along with an older Power Mac and PowerBook 1400cs. I have a working and modded G4 Cube decorating the bedroom. You wanna call me an Android fanboy again, punk?

I never called them misinformed. I called them uninformed. It's more an issue of Google being unable to effectively market to this demographic that's the issue - the 'average' person who doesn't follow tech probably has no idea that the Nexus 7 is even available. I don't fault Apple for cleaning up the market and laughing all the way to the bank while they do it.

And yes, they are charging as much as the market will bear while putting in components that have had their R&D paid for many times over already. Any and every company wishes they were in this position.

tl;dr - it's a good (though expensive and unimaginative) product for the consumer, but a significantly better product for Apple.

Not what I was expecting
By elderwilson on 10/24/2012 8:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of people are commenting that the mini is overpriced. I agree that $349 is more than it is worth, but I was actually expecting a price closer to $399. People are trying to use logic to justify the cost, but what you have to remember is that most of the people buying this aren’t looking at the competition. They are already locked into the Apple experience and I will buy pretty much anything Apple makes. Does this make Apple evil? No, it makes Apple brilliant. They have created a market where they do not have to compete on price, or even specs for that matter, and they will still out sell the competition.

Also all the comparisons to the Surface RT aren’t really fair. They are two different devices that have mostly different target customers. Plus, the price of the Surface RT (and most other windows tablets) is going to drop before Christmas. It wouldn’t surprise me at all the find deals for a RT with keyboard for $449 in December. Microsoft is just trying to capitalize on the hype before adjusting the price.

RE: Not what I was expecting
By elderwilson on 10/24/2012 9:23:55 AM , Rating: 2
They are already locked into the Apple experience and I will buy pretty much anything Apple makes.

Not a Freudian slip, just a typo. Disregard the "I".

By tayb on 10/23/2012 3:43:11 PM , Rating: 3
This is right in line with what I had predicted. The previous gen iPod Touch is $199, the new iPod Touch is $299, and the iPad 2 is $399. I didn't think it could have been any cheaper than $299 or any more expensive than $349.

I still think $329 is too high though. They seemed to be comparing it to the Nexus 7 in the unveiling. I do think this is a superior tablet to the Nexus 7 and iOS does have a much more robust tablet app market but I don't think it's $130 better. I think if the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire were the competition they've priced themselves too high.

Where is the innovation?
By invidious on 10/23/2012 4:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
Toned down and overpriced iPad mini and minor incrimental upgrades for the iPad 4 and iPhone 5. Doesn't exactly scream innovation does it?

Apple doesn't play the incrimental upgrade game well. In that game price and value are king. They can't keep charging people a premium prices for more of the same unless they want to watch their market share plumet like it did in the 90's. They need to keep offering people something new. Jobs' Apple undstood this, so far it looks like Cook's Apple does not.

what the hell...
By rubbahbandman on 10/23/2012 6:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
Did apple's creativity die with Steve Jobs? This product is a complete miss if you ask me. A miss on price, a miss on leading visual quality - did they forget that they used to "think different" and take risks?

I remember Jobs responding to criticism with remarks on how they create products - or more specifically which ones they decide not to go with. For apple, it used to not start with the engineers, the marketing team, whatever. The difference with apple was their goal was to combine beautiful design and functionality with leading edge engineering from the ground up.

Anyway, I think it's obvious how apple approached the design - or lackthereof with this product.

For all the marketing talk about "reimagining" products and all that, everything is held back by the look and functionality of ios. Apple has huge potential if they redid their os like Microsoft has, but it looks like they are afraid and reacting to the direction of the market instead of dictating it...

Apple got to be top dog by taking risks, they need to keep doing that to stay on top and this product, and even the iphone 5 say playing it safe all the way.

Apple has a Maxi & a Mini pad
By StormyKnight on 10/24/2012 1:11:21 AM , Rating: 2
From the looks of them, neither have wings. Good thing too. Always would successfully sue the crap out of them.

took notice? eh?
By Argon18 on 10/24/2012 4:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
"Although tablets have long existed on the market, it wasn't until Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 that the world stood up and took notice."

Um, no. It has nothing to do with taking notice. Plenty of tablets before iPad, but none that were usable. They were either underpowered toys, or were full laptops in a tablet form factor, complete with cooling fans, spinning hard drives, and a desktop Windows OS that was cumbersome to navigate with a finger.

It has nothing to with folks taking notice, and everything to do with making a product that people actually want to use.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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