Amazon and Google can breathe a sigh of relief. Apple unveiled its iPad Mini, a 7.9 miniature version of the iPad, for $329, a bit more expensive than the $250 analysts had expected.
About 65 percent of the cost of a full size iPad, the new iPad is well above mini tablet competitors such as Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Inc’s Nexus 7, priced between $160 and $200.
Apple’s shares were $615 in morning trade on the day of the release of the iPad mini. Canaccord Genuity raised its estimation on the stock from $797 to $800, while Barclays Capital cut its estimates from $810 to $800, according to Reuters.
“We were hoping the price would be at least a little lower given its competition is situated as low as $99, with many starting in the $199-$249 range,” Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes told Reuters.
About 7.2 mm thick, the iPad mini weighs in at .68 pounds, as light a child’s ABC book. It has access to all 275,000 apps of its larger sibling, including Siri and Facetime HD. You pretty much get all the features and capabilities of the iPad, but a smaller screen that’s also lightweight, which could prove to be a buying incentive over heavier miniature tablets. The iPad Mini also features a front and rear facing camera, a business essential feature that also puts it ahead of the Kindle or Nexus.
Though the iPad Mini does cost nearly 50 percent more the cheaper Kindle or Nexus mini-tablets, it could prove an attractive alternative for businesses buying iPads for their employees who want to avoid the $499 10-inch iPad, a difficult price point to swallow. The iPad Mini makes a more affordable alternative, but unlikely to tip the scale of customer adoption as quickly as its expected price would likely have done.