Apple‘s iPad mini officially went on sale in Tier 1 countries across the world (including US, UK and Japan) yesterday, together with the new Lightning connector-fitted fourth generation iPad. The 7-inch tablet drew mix responses and expectedly, shorter queues than usual Apple product launches.
Lines were reportedly shorter than the iPhone 5 launch in Australia and New Zealand.
The 7.9-inch iPad mini features a non-Retina display (same 1024×768 resolution as the 2nd generation iPad), Apple-designed dual-core A5X processor in a thinner, lighter enclosure. Running the same iOS 6 operating system as the regular iPad, the iPad mini will run all iPad apps exactly the same way without tweaks or modification.
The tablet sells for $329 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi model. Cellular-enabled version do not go on sale until a few weeks time.
Analysts at Piper Jaffray expect Apple to sell one million to 1.5 million iPad Minis in the first weekend. Some say the iPad mini will cannibalise some of the 9.7-inch iPad sales, although not substantially.
The iPad mini competes head on with the $199 Google Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, which offer similar or better specs at a cheaper price. Price, of course, is a subjective matter, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions for Apple products. Apple enjoys premium branding and leads the industry with the highest margins. Pricing its products at a premium enables it to escape price wars and the commoditising of products, so commonly seen in the Android and PC space.
While some argue that the iPad mini is “expensive” and “not worth the money”, many have professed their liking for the new, smaller tablet. The lack of a Retina Display has not been much of a deterrent.
A new version of the regular iPad with Retina Display (fourth generation), goes on sale as well. The $499 tablet has a faster processor and features the new Lightning dock connector.
So, iPad mini – yay or nay?
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