A few days ago we told you that Apple is reportedly going to unveil the 7.85-inch iPad mini during a special media event set for October 23. Now, that date seems to be even more likely considering that Reuters is also reporting that the smaller iPad will be officially announced next week, on October 23.
Obviously, the long-rumored iPad mini will be Apple’s response to the increasing demand of 7-inch affordable tablets, with Amazon’s Kindle Fire line and Google’s Nexus 7 tablet being the best sold devices in this category, at least for now.
But unlike Amazon and Google which aren’t making any money from actual tablet sales but rather from digital content distribution, Apple is likely to turn a profit on its Apple mini:
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said that, if Apple prices the smaller tablet between $299 to $349, it could maintain the current margins.
“The biggest cost in a tablet is the display,” he said. “On a mini, the display will be a bit cheaper.
If the tablet is priced below $299, Apple could still maintain a decent margin if it offers 8 GB of storage instead of the minimum 16 GB storage it has in the current iPad, Wu added.
And it seems that such analyst talk is now backed up by a leaked inventory screenshot from German retailer Media Markt that reveals the iPad mini pricing structure. Apple will apparently launch two 7.85-inch tablet versions, Wi-Fi-only and Cellular + Wi-Fi and offer four capacities for each one, from 8GB all the way up to 64GB. Add to that the fact that each version will be available either in black or in white and you end up with 16 flavors to choose from. Comparatively, the newest 9.7-inch iPad is also available in Wi-Fi and Cellular + Wi-Fi options; in the same two color options, but offers only three capacities, from 16 to 32GB – therefore 12 iPad 3 versions are available in stores, not including the iPad 2 that’s still selling alongside the current flagship product.
Here’s what you can expect the iPad mini to cost, depending on what model you will choose from:
In case the numbers above are real, then we should expect U.S. iPad mini pricing to also start at $249 and go up all the way to $650. We’ll be back with more details about the iPad mini and comparisons to top 7-inch Android tablets in the near future.