updated 04:17 pm EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
Mini price exceeds most analyst estimates
Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller has defended criticism over the iPad mini's $329 price tag, which exceeded earlier estimates from many analysts. The company was not expected to match the $199 price of Google's Nexus 7 or Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, but the $129 premium has led some analysts to question the Mini's ability to have a significant impact on sales from its Android-based rivals.
"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," Schiller told Reuters. "And now you can get a device that's even more affordable at $329 in this great new form, and I think a lot of customers are going to be very excited about that."
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu last week suggested the iPad mini represents the "competition's worst nightmare," even with a price up to $349.
The smaller iPad has been generally well received, sporting a larger display than most in the seven-inch class. The device offers most of the same features as the iPad 2, but in a much smaller package that does not sacrifice battery life or display resolution.
Apple will begin taking pre-orders for the iPad mini on Friday, with shipping slated for November 2.