Google and Amazon can breathe a sigh of relief as Apple skips competing on price with iPad mini

Google and Amazon can breathe a sigh of relief as Apple skips competing on price with iPad mini

Summary: Some speculated that Apple would come out with a $199 or $249 iPad mini, but Apple stuck true to their form and have the iPad mini priced at $329 to $649. The Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are still very compelling at the $199 price point.

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Google and Amazon can breathe a sigh of relief as Apple skips competing on price with iPad mini

Some people actually thought Apple would be able to get the new iPad mini down in the $199 to $249 price range, but there was no way I was buying that story. The iPad mini STARTS at $329 with six models ranging all the way up to a whopping $649 for the 64GB cellular model. The Google Nexus 7 is only $199, $249 for 16GB, and has a higher PPI display. Google has come a long way with their ecosystem too and it is easy to find books, music, and movies in the Play Store. There are also rumors of a larger 10 inch Nexus and if that comes in close to this new iPad mini price we may see Google become an even more serious contender in the tablet market.

Apple has dominated the tablet market, but Android tablets are making some great efforts to compete. This is especially true this year with the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 competing at such a low entry price. The next thing Google needs to do is to get developers creating tablet-optimized applications because the 275,000 iPad apps offer a very compelling reason to go with an iPad. Google is holding an event in New York next week where we will likely see Google shot back at Apple, especially after Apple slammed them directly on stage by comparing the Nexus 7 to the new iPad mini.

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Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Android, Apple, iPad

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13 comments
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  • Higher PPI?

    "and has a higher PPI display"

    What day of the week is it? I need to know this before I can tell you if having a higher PPI is good or bad.

    Wait, no, my mistake, it has nothing to do with the day of the week. More PPI is better only if Apple has more PPI. In this case, Apple has less PPI so more PPI is actually worse.
    toddbottom3
    • PPI

      My PPI is bigger than your PPI. I'll show you my PPI if you show me yours.
      dsf3g
    • I will actually have to compare the mini's display to the iPad retina

      before making a judgement call. Personally, I have vowed to purchase only "retina" class displays from now on.

      For it's intended market, (primary school students and young adults), the display quality to purchase price ratio "might" be acceptable.

      Really, nothing beats a retina class display (yes, Todd, I know it's a marketing name) whether it's on a Surface or Android tablet or phone.

      Personally, I was looking at the new 13" MBP as my next Apple purchase. Nothing wrong with my 2009 MacBook but ... time marches on ... and it might be appropriate now to upgrade my laptop home system.

      BTW, I watched this Apple event streamed to my HDTV from an Apple TV. I was impressed with the quality of the presentation. There were only a few digital transmission pauses that were easy to ignore. I was actually rather shocked that my standard 2.5 Mbps DSL internet feed could handle both my iPad and my Apple TV network traffic at the same time and deliver such excellent streaming video to my home TV system.
      kenosha77a
      • Suddenly it isn't a simple matter of comparing PPI?

        Funny, when it came time to comparing Surface RT to iPad, PPI was the only thing that mattered.

        "Really, nothing beats a retina class display"

        So says Apple. I've compared my iPad 2 to the iPad 3 and there is no appreciable difference. I can read text and view images on my iPad 2 just fine. What does annoy me about the iPad 2 is the amount of light reflection coming off the screen, something that MS has radically improved (DRESSS would call it a breakthrough if Apple had done it) so I actually am expecting the Surface to be noticeably better than both the iPad 2 and iPad 3 screens.

        "Nothing wrong with my 2009 MacBook"

        Then you shouldn't upgrade. However, I have heard that the average useful lifespan of a Mac is 3 years so yeah, I can see why you need to replace it already.

        "I was impressed with the quality of the presentation."

        Probably not a great idea to show off about streaming video quality to someone who owns an Xbox. MS wrote the manual on how to stream high quality video. Apple can't compete in this area but it is cute to see them try.
        toddbottom3
        • Never said it was a simple matter of PPI.

          You need to see with better eyes, my friend. I have both the iPad 2 and the iPad 3 versions, as you know, and there is a big difference in display tech, IMO.

          But if you can't see the difference than .. I have no counter to your argument or opinions on that matter. Suffice it to say, I think my observations - and opinions - on this matter agree with the vast majority of persons exposed to both display resolutions.

          As far as my upgrade plans for my 2009 MacBook are concerned I have suggested to a few others my opinions on this matter.

          Option 1: Purchase a SSD drive. Since I would be replacing a 500 GB internal one (which, BTW, was a replacement for the original drive), the cost would be between 400 to 600 dollars, depending on which brand I choose. (Some brands have better reputations than others)

          Option 2: Get the latest Apple laptop hardware that allows AirPlay streaming, retina display and just faster overall system speed coupled to a significant reduction in weight. (I am invested in the Apple ecosystem so limiting my choice to Apple hardware and software should justify that choice. You understand that choice, Todd. That comment was for other readers.)

          Apple hardware "sort of lasts forever", unfortunately. By that I mean, my iMac 5 PPC desktop still works great - hardware wise. But it is slow compared to a PC that is seven years younger than it.

          However, for my occasional laptop use, the 2009 MacBook runs Excel and other office apps just fine. And, it processes digital photographs thru Photoshop at an acceptable speed. (It works fine with digital video editing but the transcoding of that video to other formats takes quite a bit of time. My late 2010 iMac with it's core i7 Sandybridge processor and 16 GB of ram speeds up that time considerably.

          So .. investing in a new laptop or updating my 2009 MacBook with an SSD is not a simple clear cut decision. I'm still going to think about it.

          Streaming 1080p HD content to my HDTV can't be any less of an experience than your XBox setup. Then again, you can't discern the difference between a retina class display from a sub 1080P resolution display. Very light hearted ribbing, my friend. Grin.
          kenosha77a
    • What is the point of higher PPI if you will only have headlines

      instead of actual page in landscape view on Nexus 7 versus iPad mini:
      http://d35lb3dl296zwu.cloudfront.net/uploads/photo/image/8951/ipadmini_0584.jpg

      And Nexus 7 is still no Retina display, so while more pixel density is definitely better, it does not make the breakthrough that Retina-class screens do.
      DDERSSS
      • Nice screen shot

        My Surface RT will be able to show even more of that article. Great, now you've just admitted that the Surface RT is better than the iPad Mini.

        In fact, the Surface RT will be able to show more of that article than even the regular iPad. Again then, according to your logic, the Surface RT, being bigger, is better than the iPad.

        "does not make the breakthrough that Retina-class screens"

        Samsung's breakthrough. Apple has no idea how to manufactur retina class screens.
        toddbottom3
      • Really? An extra .9'' diagonal is the killer feature now?

        So Apple makes the screen a bit bigger than the Nexus 7 and calls it a huge advantage. The iPad 3 is 9.7'', that's bigger than the Nexus 7 too. Do you really believe that the visionaries at Apple consulted their secret oracle and the magic answer was 7.9''? It's "the perfect size" to see the headline and the first paragraph of the article!
        Let me break it to you: NO. It's the size that allowed them to differentiate, make that ridiculous comparison on-stage, and maintain the aspect ratio that they so charish, since iOS apps use fixed coordinates and non-scaleable graphics and layouts. $330 for an aluminum body and lower screen res? No thanks. $250 Nexus 7 is a much better value.
        nemesys571
  • 32Gb nexus 7

    Google is rumored to be releasing a 32Gb Nexus 7 next week. That's going to be the hands down value proposition.

    And honestly, after having owned a 4.3" Android phone, a 7" Android tablet and a 10.1" Android Tansformer tablet, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that 7" is the ideal size for a dedicated tablet device. My next phone is going to be an Android phone. My next tablet will probably be a Nexus 7, and my next tablet/PC hybrid will be some flavor of Windows 8.
    dsf3g
  • But why ?

    I own a 16 GB Nexus 7 . I am more than happy with it. I will most likely own a Nexus phone & 10 / 11 " Tablet as soon as the new versions appear on the market. Buy an iWhatever - have a iPod but that is about as much $ as I am willing to channel to the apple store.
    vhawk
  • Why does ZDNet continue to ignore Barnes & Noble's tablets?

    Another article that references Google and Amazon but ignores (what I think) may be some of the best tablet buys of the year. Barnes and Noble's HD and HD+ tablets will be out next week and offer competitive prices, high PPI, slick design, and be very lightweight.
    ckantack@...
  • RE: Some speculated that Apple would come out with a $199 or $249 iPad mini

    Nobody in their right mind made this speculation. I guessed that the price would be somewhere between $299 and $349 U.S. And $329 U.S. is pretty much in the middle of this range, skewed towards the high end. Apple's DNA is premium products which gives them such a high margin.

    However, I'm sure that Amazon, Google and Barnes & Noble are happy with Apple's iPad Mini pricing.

    The unanswered question is: what will be the starting price of last year's iPad Mini's? This will almost certainly be under $300 U.S. and most likely around $260 U.S. Thus, last year's iPad Mini will be just above the upper range of Amazon's, Google's and Barnes & Noble's 7-inch tablets.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • You get what you pay for.

    Apple is not supposed to compete with other brands on price. In a consumer society it's always been that way! The company which offers the best product is very seldom the one who sells it the cheapest. This applies to practically everything (cars, electronics, appliances, cell phones, restaurants, etc, etc).

    If a person wants a $200 tablet, there's plenty of them out there! I have tried dozens of them and have not found any that satisfies or offers much of anything substantial. You really do get what you pay for.

    So, spend $200 and you'll get a tablet... but you won't get one worth $330. That price point is what Apple is offering something at, and you'll be glad you spent the extra money.
    camcost@...