So shocking news, everyone. Apple decided to forgo my advice to price the new iPad Mini at $199 - and effectively corner the tablet market - and instead priced the entry level model at $329. While the wisdom behind this pricing choice remains to be seen, it's hard to argue that this move is completely unexpected. After all, Apple isn't one to bend to the whims of the marketplace. They may have entered the 7-8 inch tablet space, but they're still going to do it on their own terms and won't get dragged down into a price war with the competition.
But the fact remains that products like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire, while not yet strong threats to Apple's iPad empire, continue to build up steam and garner marketshare from consumers who are unwilling or unable to fork over $499 for a full fledged iPad.
That said, Apple's Phil Schiller was specifically asked about the iPad Mini's pricetag and his response was rather typical - that being that consumers will be willing to spend more for a higher quality product.
"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category," Schiller explained. "The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices. 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."