iPad mini pricing rumored to start at $329

iPad mini pricing rumored to start at $329

While iMore has consistently heard the widely anticipated iPad mini would start at around $200-$250 for 8GB, now some pricing information is being reported that pegs the starting price higher -- at $329 (though at what storage capacity is uncertain).This according to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, who has an excellent track record when it comes to retail pricing:

Apple’s entry price for its upcoming smaller iPad is between the base model of the new, fifth-generation iPod touch ($299) and the currently shipping WiFi-only 16GB iPad 2 ($399). According to our sources, the base model of the smaller iPad will likely be priced at a minimum of $329 in the United States.

If Apple is going over $300 for the entry level model, and our original information was accurate -- which I believe it was -- then something changed.

One possibility is that Apple has abandoned the 8GB SKU and is starting instead with a 16GB SKU at a $100 higher price point. 8GB would have made for a very low, low end model but may not have ultimately provided a user experience Apple was happy with, especially given the size of TV shows, movies, and even the upcoming iBooks Apple is planning. Also, the $200-$250 8GB iPad mini we heard about was predicated on taking the fight to Amazon's Kindle and Google's Nexus 7, and neither of those devices have taken the world by storm. You can't even buy or realistically use them in many parts of the world. It could simply be that Apple doesn't feel the price pressure they assumed they would in the small tablet space, and so aren't being as aggressive as they may have been had Amazon and Google enjoyed greater success to date.

A less likely possibility is Retina display. Moving from an iPad 2 1024x768 resolution display at an iPhone 3GS 163 ppi to an iPad 3 2048x1536 resolution display and an iPhone 4 326 ppi would increase cost and hence, price point. We've heard both display types were in the pipeline, but Retina still sounded more like next year's model than this year's. Given the display resolution of the new Kindle Fire HD is 1280x800 at 215 ppi, however, moving it up could be seen as a competitive necessity.

Source: 9to5Mac

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iPad mini pricing rumored to start at $329

47 Comments

A $300+ price point could just be this year's "early adopter" price. It would reduce demand somewhat, which may actually be good for Apple because supply will probably be constrained anyway. And it will establish the "mini" as a high-end product in the sub-8" pad space.

That price would also fit in with Apple's pricing of other products. Specifically, it would position the iPad mini above the iPod touch at $299. More logical in consumers' eyes than making the bigger device cheaper.

Some types of miniaturized products can command premium prices, but the iPod touch isn't a miniaturized version of anything. It has exactly the same screen component as iPhone 5, and Apple has conditioned the market to expect lower prices for smaller-screen devices. So pricing the iPad mini below the iPod touch would be extremely awkward. And Apple couldn't drop the price of the iPod touch so soon after its introduction.

So the iPad mini will probably be positioned at the top of the sub-8" pad market. That means it would need to have impressive specs. We'll see soon enough.

woah, thats an outrageous price...i hope this is just a rumor. Unless of course it has a retina display then that would justify the price tag

$329 16GB model isn't to terrible all things considered. I hoping they realized that an 8GB iPad Mini is just like the 4GB iPhone from 2007 which no one bought because it's way too little storage.

they will lose a lot of customers if this is the actual price for it.
people have been holding off from other cheaper tablets in hopes that
they would release it at a competitive price.
but at $329 for the base model, id expect it to have retina and the new a6 chip.

Reading some of these posts I have to wonder if any of you have been paying attention to apple at all over the past ten years..

Since when has apple ever priced anything at, or better yet, below the same threshold as the competition? Since when have specs ever matched? MacBooks cost 4x as much as a comparably specced HP.

All this wishful thinking about a device priced sub-$200 never made any sense at all. Apple wants its devices to seem like the premium option. When you buy one they want you to feel like you just joined an exclusive club (along with millions and millions of others) of people who want the best. And while the specs might not be as good as others, you can bet that the user experience and performance will be superior.

I agree with you 110%. Why would Apple jump into the sub $200 tablet market when what is there is just cheap anyways. I purchased an 8gb Nexus 7 and it is a pretty nice device, but it also isn't made very well, has a horrible display, and basically only runs phone applications blown up to a 7" display. Apple doesn't need to jump into this market they only need to offer a smaller iPad at a lower price than the $499 entry level retina iPad or $399 iPad 2. Apple shouldn't jeapordize its premium feel just to get into a market. We all know they dont even need to jump into this market, but by owning a 7" tablet I can really see the demand for a smaller and more portable tablet especially for reading. It doesn't even matter if it has the same resolution as the iPad 2 as even with the smaller pixel density than the competition the iPad 2 still had one of the best displays on the market. My wife has one and it absolutely destroys the display on my Nexus 7 even thought it is much lower pixel density. I love the retina on my iPad 4G LTE 64GB and even though the Nexus 7 is easier to handle and I bought it to read on I still find it collecting dust as it simply is no match for the quality display on my iPad. It is my go to device for everything and not only does my Nexus 7 collect dust, but sadly my 2011 Macbook Pro does as well.

I tend to agree. If it's this price I'll go for the iPad2 at Micro Center. They have it for $359. Best Buy will price match as well.

Could this be ipad mini wifi + cellular pricing? US$329 seems high, but have to see the hardware in order to assess pricing/value.

Nah. Apple isn't competing against Fire (which hasn't really gotten any buzz since being updated). They're competing against the bigger iPad. They feel people will compare Mini in price and functionality to larger iPad and will come away feeling great at fact they got what they want at a discount.

I'd easily pay $329 if it was retina.. and I'm really hopeful that it is!

If it's not, than the iPad 3 retina graphics contained in the .ipa's could very quickly and unnecessarily fill up a 7" non-retina iPad, and it would be very annoying.

My opinion on this is that Apple should have discontinued the iPod Touch and release either a 8GB or 16GB iPad Mini at $299 with a high res display, I think Apple would make a mistake by releasing the iPad Mini without at least an HD screen because of the fact that their competition have high res displays for cheaper than $299.

If this is true, this is going to really tank interest among the masses. Sure the fanboys and gals will pay whatever they ask but the masses will look to the nexus 7 etc. The competition will just be thrilled with this move.

Right, because the masses have been completely enthralled with the Nexus, which since June has an estimated sales of less than 1 million. Many are waiting for smaller iPad, including consumers, small businesses, and schools. This will be huge whether it's at $249 or $329.

"The masses" have already paid for the larger iPad. Do you really think $300 is a problem? This is not going to be marketed as an iPad for those who can't scrape together a few hundred dollars, its going to be a smaller iPad. Big difference.

I think $329 or thereabouts is a great price point and will spur adoption in schools, small business and enterprise. Of course consumers are also looking to scoop a couple up for kids or themselves. I really do hope it's retina, however even if it's not the use of in cell touch tech will produce brighter colors and a better visual experience anyway. Additionally I think the complete package of thin, light, and less expensive will be enough for most to pull the trigger. The biggest issue will be demand. Christmas is around the corner, and this should be the hottest device going.

You know Rene I got on you last week about the leak of pricing for the Mini and how out of wack that was. Now if what is being said is true this is even worse. I can understand there are concerns about cannibalizing sales of the touch and all, but this is ridiculous. We now have good evidence that the Nexus7 will be getting a storage upgrade to 32GB and that it will come at the price of the older 16GB model. So gee lets see 32GB 7in tablet that is well supported vs a 16GB 8in tablet that is also well supported but costs 80 bucks more? Hmmm, do I have to say what most people will choose. This will be sadly just the Rabid Fan edition and not the home run they thought it would be. If it had been say 275 instead people may not have liked it but would have probably bought them none the less.

If this is the price with 3 or 4g in it that's ok. But if that the starting price then it time to look at something else. I would wait to see if google puts 3G in there mini.

lol. Highly doubt this is the price with 4G. And I don't think Apple has to match the $199 price point. Why? Because their $499 product is selling over 15 times as well as the Nexus is, and over 5 times as well as the Fire is. So why would Apple have to match the price of their competitors? They just have to outmatch their own iPad. That's it.

For that price I think people are going to expect a Retina display. Or SOMETHING to justify the price point.

I don't think the price point is justified of the the new ipad or ipad 2 but hat doesn't keep people from emptying their pockets

How about this: the first batch of iPad minis could all be wi-fi ($199) + LTE ($130) = $329. The LTE option is $130 on the full-sized iPad, and there's no reason why it should be less expensive an option for the iPad mini.

Next spring, when the full-sized iPad (4th gen) is announced, Apple could also offer the iPad mini in a wi-fi-only configuration for $199. Or not. Maybe all iPad minis will have LTE as a standard feature. That way Apple could keep the iPad mini, at $329, priced above the iPod touch ($299) because the touch has no LTE option.

So much for Gruber's theories. I'm willing to eat crow if this story turns out to be false, but I never believed this iPad mini would be cheaper than the iPod Touch.

The iPod Touch is amazingly thin and light, but frankly it's overpriced. Apple believes the iPad line is more premium than the iPod line and these rumoured prices reflect that.

With cellular on contract maybe. Your phone that is half this size costs more to buy outright. Only an idiot would think you could get a cellular tablet for LESS than the price of a phone especially when that tablet does everything that phone does, except phone calls, on a larger screen. At that point, the phone itself is nothing more than an app. Dunces

No worries, all of you complaning here will be lining up later in front of apple stores or hitting F5 like crazy to get a hold of that precious piece of tech, because everything apple does is magical and revolutionary. Better stop whining and get your wallets ready

I'd pay that for a retina device. I doubt it's retina though, the battery is just way too small.

I was really hoping for that $250 range. I got three kids all wanting an iPad and two fiddy would have been much more workable for Christmas.

I'm slightly horrified at people who think schools are waiting for this to adopt tablets or are hoping for it all the same. First off there are many other just as capable tablets out there that could do the things that schools may possibly require at a much lower price point. Secondly those schools have desktops and or laptops for students to use that can run full blown software. Thirdly there is no ecosystem of apps that would benefit any school system to blow that kind of money (i.e. No catalog of textbooks and other formal criteria at any sort of reasonable price that those schools don't already have, or in many cases can't afford at all, which is what would make them the most useful). Lastly, for now, there is no replacement and should be no replacement for physically writing out notes or math or homework of most kinds on a daily basis. Kids are already illiterate enough.

its not going to have an A6. They wouldn't release the mini with better specs than the new iPad and they aren't going to be adding the A6 to the new ipad most likely. It would make sense for them to refresh the new ipad with an A6 before christmas but Apple seems to be stuck on their release patterns so I doubt they will. Most likely if there is a $329 model it will be an A5 with a standard display and 16gb of storage. I don't like the price but they priced the touch too high and now they are stuck with this problem. They should have done all they could to price the new touch at $249 and drop the old one completely. The reason I am doubtful on the mini using retina is that the battery would simply have to be too large for them to achieve the form factor they desire. That said this could be the first IGZO product but that is also doubtful because unless they change their pattern (doubtful) next years iphone will have the same display and the IGZO iphone won't hit until the following year. I doubt they will introduce it in the ipad and wait that long before putting it in the iphone. The most likely sequence of events is mini ipad launched now with terrible specs (ala ipad 1), full size ipad keeps to march time frame and next year ipad mini switches to summer launch for back to school book push and catches up with the iPad at that point with igzo, A6, retina etc

Re: " It would make sense for them to refresh the new ipad with an A6 before christmas but Apple seems to be stuck on their release patterns so I doubt they will."

Agree. No hurry to update the 9.7" iPad. The only remaining change necessary this year is the Lightning connector port.

Re: "...full size ipad keeps to march time frame and next year ipad mini switches to summer launch for back to school book push..."

Great thinking. A separate iPad mini announcement would also provide a second burst of publicity for iPad in general every year. And it would establish each year's iPad models long before the holiday season. Consumers won't just see an ad on TV and and say "I want that." They'll have time to try friends' iPads and iPad minis and say "I really, really want that."

To much for people starting out - I like the bigger for my grip and vision issues - why is smaller so "big" ? Features in product count more to me

Really Apple? This is the first I have been really disappointed with pricing from Apple. I think this is a failed opportunity to really go after the market. I was going to buy one if it was $250 but now no thanks especially if its only 8 GB.

"If Apple is going over $300 for the entry level model, and our original information was accurate -- which I believe it was -- then something changed." What a douche, just word it differently to avoid saying you were wrong, eh? C'mon dude....not hating bc you actually get a lot of your early release info correct, but that statement was pathetic.

Apple wanted to make the Nexus 7 irrelevant at $250 . but I think the rumors of the $99 Nexus 7 got to them... They figured they don't want to play the race to the bottom... it'll be easier to make the Nexus obsolete if it was 200 vs . 250 but at $99 Apple figured.. we might as well abandon the race to the bottom .. and make some considerable profit because the apple cult fans will buy it regardless of the price