iPad Mini To Launch With WiFi Only; LTE Model To Come Later, Says The Guardian
According to a recent report by The Guardian, unnamed sources claim that Apple will launch the rumored iPad Mini as WiFi-only in order to cut down costs, and will later release a revised version with LTE. The article also assumes that Apple will have to price the iPad Mini at under $250 in order to compete with the budget-priced $199 Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD tablets.
There are two problems with this rumor: the first problem is that The Guardian’s unnamed sources are contradicting leaks we’ve seen of the iPad Mini. Some of the first shots we’ve seen of the iPad Mini include a variant with a SIM card slot and a plastic bar on the back to prevent disruption of cellular wireless signals, much like the current LTE-equipped version of the third generation iPad. While it’s possible that these mockups and leaks are fake, the same could be said for the unnamed sources.
The second problem is the $250 pricetag, which would put the iPad Mini below the cost of Apple’s 5th generation iPod Touch, and well below the current cost of the iPad 2. The iPad Mini is expected to deliver the same specs as the iPad 2, which would give it better performance and a slightly higher screen resolution than the new iPod Touch (though at a lower DPI). Despite the mention of product umbrellas, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to price a larger, more powerful device at $50 below the iPod and a wopping $150 below a larger tablet with identical specs.
It’s possible, despite leaks and mockups, that Apple will hold off on production of the LTE-equipped iPad at launch, but the pricing rumors seem out of whack. Does Apple need to price the iPad Mini below $250 to compete with the (apparently higher spec’d) Nexus 7 or does loss leader not play into Apple’s pricing strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.