I rarely use this blog to decry something publicly. Just not my style, I guess. I don't want to harp on; I'm here to talk writing. But today, I'm kind of mad. If you don't want to hear a rant on the price tag of the latest Apple gadget, delete now. No hard feelings, I swear. :)
You see, when the first iPad came out, my husband got it for me, because it was my perfect device at that time. I was finally excited about a gadget, and he came through for me in a big way. We pre-ordered, and I got my iPad delivered the first week it was out.
Cut to a few months ago, when we started to hear rumors about an iPad Mini swirling on the interwebs. Awesome! Hubby would love to take an iPad on the road (he uses public transit for commuting), but the original iPad is too large for what he needs. We thought the iPad Mini would be perfect for him. We'd heard rumors of a possible base model price tag around $250 -- and I would have happily purchased an iPad Mini for him this Christmas if that were the case.
The device Apple announced today is priced at $329 to start. He needs 3G, so that puts us at $459. And how can I justify paying $459 for an iPad Mini? I don't think I can. Certainly not this year. Sorry hubby. :(
Now, if Apple had chosen to price the iPad Mini lower, a couple of things would have happened. First, I believe there's a certain segment of Apple's customer base waiting for just such a device, and they would have jumped on board at a lower price point, but I don't see as many of them doing so at the current price point. Just like for us, I think for many Apple loyalists this device would be in addition to other gadgetry. It's too small to serve all of your tablet/PC needs. But it allows you more flexibility than the iPhone. So, Apple is going to miss out on sales from folks like us, who spend plenty on our Apple gadgets, but aren't willing to spend this much on another Apple device.
The second thing that likely would have taken place with a lower iPad Mini price point would have benefited ALL OF US. I'm talking to you writer friends, and to you reader friends. If the iPad Mini was priced starting at $250, it is likely that Amazon and Google would have lowered their 7-inch tablet prices...Amazon possibly reducing the Kindle Fire price by as much as $50, according to this article from CNN Money. And that would have made Christmas sales of these devices soar.
There are still people waiting on the sidelines for more options, and lower prices when it comes to ereaders and tablets. Along with all of those new sales of ereaders and ereader-capable devices would have come sales of books. Not to mention sales of apps, which are providing small business and venture opportunities around the country; we've definitely seen it in Portland. So, I'm a little peeved to see prices for these great gadgets that miss a solid segment of the population who are just unable to afford the price tag. These are missed opportunities for all of us.
Just for context, I'm not just any consumer badmouthing an Apple pricing decision. I'm a life-long aficionado and consumer of Apple products. Every computer, desktop and laptop, that I've ever purchased has been an Apple, and I have an iPad and an iPhone. Just so you know where I'm coming from. I LOVE Apple products; they are elegant, sophisticated designs that run quite smoothly compared with other product lines on the market. I usually believe they are worth the money.
I'm not happy with this price for the iPad Mini.
I'll quit my rant now. If you're still with me, thanks for hanging in there, and I'll be sure not to turn this blog into a regular soap-box. You keep me real if I go there. :)