Apple's iPad Air, iPad mini updates ensure strong upgrade cycle

Apple's iPad Air, iPad mini updates ensure strong upgrade cycle

Summary: Apple has covered its iPad price points well. So well that Apple negated the Android tablet market's price advantage for the holidays.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iPad, Tablets

Apple had an ambitious agenda for its iPad product cycle when it unveiled its latest tablets on Tuesday. First, Apple had to renew interest in its largest 9.7-inch screen iPad and deliver a Retina display for its iPad mini, which delivers the unit volume.

Mission accomplished. And for the gravy, Apple has covered enough pricing points to give rival tablet makers fits.

On the large iPad front, Apple's chore was to renew interest. The company delivered the iPad Air. The iPad Air starts at $499, has an A7 chip and is 7.5mm thick, down from 9.4mm.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the iPad Air is "the lightest full-size tablet in the world."

ipad air2

Now there's a good argument to be made that the full-sized iPad is going to be eclipsed by the iPad mini, which now has a Retina display. What Apple has done is cover its screen bases well enough to cover the low end of the market and the high end. The iPad 2 will go for $399.

On the iPad mini front, Apple delivered its Retina display for its 7-inch screen and provided largely the same specs as its large tablet.

ipad mini pricing

The instant reaction from tablet buyers ranged from "I'm getting the iPad mini no matter what" to "well, the iPad Air looks strong."

In any case, Apple did what it had to. It covered all price points.

ipad full slate

The big question here is whether Android tablets are going to have Christmas season mojo when the cheapest iPad mini is $299. My hunch is that price will be dangerous to the competition in many respects.

Add it up and Apple probably isn't all that worried about the rest of the field. All Apple really has to do is ensure that its installed base upgrades. The company delivered nicely on that front. Apple has clearly dangled enough carrots to get its installed base to consider buying a new iPad.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPad, Tablets

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  • Am I the only one disappointed by this pricing?

    iPad 2 is still in production? SMDH.

    The original iPad Mini is overpriced for being a second-year product and should have been priced closer to $200, maybe $250 at the most. The iPad 4 should have stayed in production as a 16GB tablet with a price point around $375. The Retina Mini and the iPad Air should have come in with 32GB of storage at their respective price points

    As someone who does like the Apple products, I'm disappointed by the pricing. Especially since the next version of iOS will most likely make A5-based iOS devices run slower than they do on iOS 7.
    • The iPad 2 is terrible...

      ... at least when it runs iOS 7.

      I was considering an iPad 3 or 4, but at these ridiculous prices, Apple's pretty much pulling off another 5C.

      400 dollars for 2nd generation hardware? That's a huge rip-off, especially when the processor jump's on its 5th cycle.
      • I got flagged??

        All I said was that the iPad 2 was a terrible deal for $400 and that it didn't run iOS 7 well.

        The fact is, it IS a terrible deal, and it DOESN'T run iOS 7 well.

        We've had the iPad 3, the iPad 4, and now the iPad Air.

        The processor is 3 generations behind.
        • My ipad2 runs ios7 well.....

          I don't know what the heck everyone is saying here. iPad2 runs ios7 well. It is still fast and snappy, and honestly, we have no problems at all with it. Naturally, everyone ones cheaper pricing, but that is pretty normal procedure...

          Apple cold have taken it, a $50 reduction on the mini would have made a killing and rendered Android tablets obsolete, since many buy them just for the lower price...
    • disappointing is the right word

      No value with Apple products. Works when your the only game in town, but there are much better devices on the market for the money. And the app argument is old since there are over 100k apps for each platform.

      I was also disappointed in the accessories. The cover are boring, non-tech, and too expensive. The new Microsoft Surface covers are amazing when compared.
      Sean Foley
      • Re: Works when your the only game in town

        And yet, they sell tens of millions each quarter. Apparently, you are missing something.
        • @danbi:You are just one of those

          who follow herd of sheep. If they fall in a well, so will you.

          Meaning: Just because it sold millions, does not mean it is the best. That's where Steve Jobs was the master, he played with consumers with the number games. No doubt iPad is a good gadget, but I am trying to make a different point here :-).
          • Yeah. Your point is that

            if the herd (iPad) isn't the one you belong to (android), then that herd are just unenlightened sheep.
          • I think

            Danbi is more of a Microsoft hater than an ifan.
        • Hmm

          "A fool and his money are soon parted." -- Whoever wrote that quote surely had you in mind.
        • By that metric Windows is by far the best OS ever.

          I'm sure you'll agree with the conclusion. Right?
          • Considering that the vast majority of Windows sales

            are incidental (comes with a PC, or corporate IT mandate) as opposed to direct, willful action by the buyer, your comparison is fallacious.
          • Nothing fallacious about it.

            The criteria was larger numbers = better product. Windows has significantly larger numbers than any other OS therefore it's the best. And no amount of spin on your part will change it.
          • Wait a minute

            I didn't know you could buy IOS apart from an Apple product.
          • Irrelevant.

          • You do know don't your!

            That because the iPad made it's name early in the scheme of things that most of it's early to medium sale are also incidental don't you?
            You not naive enough to believe everyone who buys a iPad know exactly what they want! S
          • How is that any different from iOS?

            Last time I checked, iOS came with iPads/iPhones, etc.
    • You're probably one of the few

      To be honest, Apple can charge almost whatever they want for their products. They create sleek products with lots of sweetness around them. Note, these are not suprior products, just products that people like. There is a huge difference. its the same reason people still shell out a fortune for BMW when BMW hasn't been the best automobile for a long time. Its the zeal of the moment of buying something "awesome" of feeling like you're elite for a moment. The fresh air that surrounds the products.

      So, no, its all in presentation, marketing, and selecting a minimum number of features that work really well together.
      A Gray
    • No you're not

      I was thinking it was time to upgrade my wife's iPad Mini to the Mini Retina but, now there are better screens on other tablets for half the price!

      The iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, and the iPhone 5c have got to be two of the most boneheaded pricing schemes I have ever seen. They corrected the 5c so let's see if they smarten up with the Mini and Mini Retina.
  • $299 and luxury mojo

    Wonder if the lower price points will eat into the fashion/luxury mojo associated with Apple pads. Its a positive for getting current customers to upgrade... Like the author notes, there's a lot of sales to just get those guys to upgrade.