iPad mini - A marketing analysis
Once the (UK) store popped back up after today's new product announcements, I noticed that Apple had lowered the price of the iPad to £249, presumably the iPad 2. However after clicking through, the price was the same as before. It has now been corrected, someone was obviously too quick on the draw.
However, this got me thinking about Apple’s new product line and where another (mini) product would fit it.
How much for the middle one?
It will be interesting to see where Apple prices and markets an "iPad mini". At $299 (£249), an "iPad mini" would be the same price as the 32GB 5th Gen iPod Touch. This could harm sales of the newly announced iPod Touch for the Holidays, as parents will see more value in a large screened device, and just buy the "iPad mini". It was quite clear today that Apple is aiming the iPod Touch squarely at kids and teens, a starter drug, both in terms of brand and ecosystem, to ensure they are future iPhone customers. So, if both devices are sold at the same price, what is the distinction? It will be 4G.
I believe that the guts of the "mini" will be the same as the Touch and the iPad 2 (2,4), and many have already speculated however I believe it will come in 4G flavors only, unlike the New iPad family, as the iPod Touch is the WiFi only version.
Based on Apple’s long term policy of adding $100 to double your storage, I would expect the "iPad mini" to follow this trend, this would lead to a 32GB "iPad mini" costing the same as a 16GB iPad 2, which would probably be dropped.
Is this an iPad 4?
Apple’s naming systems are a little odd, but they seem to listen to what most people think the product will be called. For example;
"The next iPhone will have 3G." - became iPhone 3G
"Gizmodo bought an iPhone 4." - became iPhone 4
"The New iPad will have a screen like the iPhone 4." - became The New iPad
Some of us smartasses thought that because the 3rd iPad was not christened the iPad 3, just ‘New’, the iPhone 5 would just be the ‘New’ iPhone. However most poeple ‘on the street’ were talking about the iPhone 5, so that was what they called it, it makes sense not to confuse your customer. It should be noted that us smartasses gave Joe Public the name iPhone 5 in the first place, as that is what we thought the iPhone 4S would be called.
Everyone is talking about an "iPad mini, so they are going to call it an iPad mini.
I think it would be make sense to follow the Macbook path and call them the iPad 9.7’’ & iPad 7.9", however the similarities of those numbers would probably be confusing to Joe Public.
But Google one and the Amazon one are cheaper!
So, ‘from $299’, not $199, and therefore not competing on price with their two (only) competitors. But hey, when has Apple really ever competed on price?
Amazon has a completely different strategy, so lets just look at the Nexus 7. The $199 sku is 8GB, you need to spend $249 for 16GB, that makes the iPad mini $50 more. Fan boys would add the word ‘only’ and ‘just’ into that last sentence.
So when’s it coming out?
Well its got to be out for the holidays, no? Well maybe not. They have already announced three new products, with one of them on sale at the end of this month, and the other two by the end of the next, it may be a tight squeeze. There are three options I can see;
1 - iPad mini launched at an event in 4~6 weeks time.
Likely, this is a new product and can have its own launch window.
2 - iPad mini & New iPad + Lightning launched at an event in 4~6 weeks time.
Conservative, do Apple new to launch a New New iPad in the fist half of 2013, will this be the fabled release shift?
3 - iPad mini & 4th Gen iPad launched at an event in the spring.
Disappointing, but possible.
So in conclusion, here is how I think Apple’s iOS line up will soon look;
$149 - 16GB 7th Gen iPod Nano (not iOS)
$199 - 16GB 4th Gen iPod Touch
$249 - 32GB 4th Gen iPod Touch
$299 - 16GB iPad mini 4G
$299 - 32GB 5th Gen iPod Touch
$399 - 64GB 5th Gen iPod Touch
$399 - 16GB iPad 2
$399 - 32GB iPad mini 4G
$499 - 64GB iPad mini 4G
$499 - 16GB New iPad
$599 - 32GB New iPad
$629 - 16GB New iPad 4G
$699 - 64GB New iPad
$729 - 32GB New iPad 4G
$829 - 64GB New iPad 4G
Just my 2c, hope this provokes some discussion.