Apple probably surprised the entire tech industry last week when they introduced the iPad mini, but not because of it's size, shape, function, design, or software. It was because of the price. For weeks Apple fanatics have been planning for a sub-300 dollar tablet to arrive on the market, with rumors that it would retail for either $199 or $249- a sweet spot for 7 inch hand-held tablets. Yet somehow, Apple decided to promote the iPad for a steep price of $329. I made fun of this with a rather insignificant comparison between the cost of the iPad and the cost of, among other things, a lot of McDoubles. Apple's iPad mini may retail for $329, but that doesn't mean it won't sell just as well, or even better than it's competitors. Read on to find out why.
First of all, consumers don't buy electronics based merely on price anymore. Quite the contrary, in fact. If you take a gander around your office, school, or even your own home, you'll notice that everybody and his brother has put down at least $499 for an iPad. Many people have opted for the highest end machines to satisfy their technology cravings. But most people have at least gotten an iPad. Human beings in the 21st century seem to be mesmerized by status symbols. From the iPhone, to the iPod, the iPad, and everything in-between, everybody wants to have the best-in-class tablet computer. And that's definitely the iPad.
Second, consumers like choice. That is why monopolies (in the United States at least) are so frowned upon. The iPad mini, along with the still-selling iPad 2 (why don't they just discontinue it and sell the 3?) and the iPad 4, make a line up of three distinct price choices, and models. The lowest end iPad mini provides consumers with a product that is smaller, yet just as powerful as the iPad 2. Sure, it's no retina display, but it's certainly a lot sharper and crisper than the current offering from Amazon or Google. The iPad 2 gives you a middle of the line, full powered tablet for one hundred dollars less than the highest end offering. Speaking of which, the iPad 4 is as good as it gets. With it's duel-core A6X processing unit, quad-core graphics processor, full-blown 9.7 IPS Retina display, advanced iSight camera and Facetime camera on the front and back, and 1 GB of DDR3 RAM (although we're hearing it's now 2 GB), the iPad 4 is the most advanced tablet computer on the market today for that same affordable price of $499. At the end of the day, Apple offers a full spectrum of iPads for every computational need, and every aesthetic desire there is.
Third and last, the iPad mini is pretty darn cool. There is arguably no better sub-9 inch machine on the market today. It's thin, sleek, light, affordable, and beautiful. The iPad mini is everything we thought it was going to be, and everything we wanted it to be. In comparison, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire tablets look and feel like toys. The iPad is where it's at for every level of consumer, and that's how Apple wants it to be. Remember, there's a reason why there is an iPad everywhere. It's because they're pretty damn awesome.
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