iPads are overpriced... compared to what?

iPads are overpriced... compared to what?

Before the iPad launched it was rumored to cost $1000. When Steve Jobs announced it at an Apple special event in 2010, the starting price ended up being $500. Given the expectation and the presentation, the price sounded great. Now, following the latest iPad event, and the introducing of the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, there are grumblings that the price is too high. That Apple is blowing it. In a short, but very worthwhile blog post today, independent analyst and consultant Benedict Evans published his thoughts on iPad pricing.

If you take a look at the iPad sales table in his piece, you’ll see what appears to be a scary story. iPad volume has been falling slightly, but all of this has been happening while Android tablet volume has risen tremendously. Knowing that Android tablets are significantly cheaper, it can lead to the belief that the iPad is starting to fail because it isn’t price-competitive any more.

But here’s the kicker: A huge chunk of the Android tablet volume is in the form of $75-100 units sold in China, according to Evans. The people who buy these, he suggests that:

They're being used for a little bit of web, and a bit of free gaming. Perhaps some book reading. And a LOT of video consumption. In fact, one might argue that for many buyers, these compete with TVs, not iPads, Nexuses and Tabs.

He concludes by saying there are really two quite different markets. You have what he calls the “post-PC vision”, where Apple is clobbering Microsoft, and where people looking to marry PC with mobile are choosing Apple. And you have the ultra-low margin product that still carries the “tablet” label, but Evans considers a totally different product.

I have to say, I think he makes a great point. Apple isn’t competing with cheap Chinese tablets. Apple is making the post-PC world fun and easy. I’m happy to pay an extra $1-200 for a tablet that makes my life more fun and simple.

Many people are.

Chris Umiastowski

Chris was a sell side financial analyst covering the tech sector for over 10 years. He left the industry to enjoy a change in lifestyle as an entrepreneur, consultant, and technology writer.

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There are 83 comments. Add yours.

steimel says:

The Benedict Evans link you posted is broken. Great article though, Chris

Sent from the iMore App

geetarnub says:

completely agree on this one. people find themselves buying efficacy of tablets to its associated price. i know plenty who have have androids just to open pdfs for lectures (taking in consideration i am a college student) few games to kill time, and that's about it. honestly, $100 android tablet to do that job is an incredible price. same thing to higher end galaxy note/ipads, people, like myself.. if want web surfing, email checking, twitter refreshing, note taking, drawing, updating constantly, you'd buy the bang for your buck to do all these things like a galaxy note tab (android) or ipad (iOS) for $500 to run all those functionality, makes total sense. you are getting what you paid for now. i think competition is among the brands themselves now, functionality is becoming more independent (my opinion)

Connor Mason says:

The only decent competitor the iPad Mini has is the Nexus 7. While the new Nexus 7 went up around 13% in price, the new iPad Mini went up around 17.5%. With the only advantages to the iPad Mini being the Apple ecosystem and lavish metal, and a major disadvantage of not having a tablet-optimized UI, the price hike seems like an insult to customers who could buy nearly 2 Nexus 7's for the same price.
However, it's not nearly as much of an insult as Apple selling the iPad 2 next to the iPad Air.

geoadm says:

"a major disadvantage of not having a tablet-optimised UI"
what? are you saying iOS is not tablet optimised?
You could buy nearly 2 Nexus 7's for the same price but have only 1-2% of apps available that ARE tablet optimised

Connor Mason says:

As a Nexus 7 owner, I'd have to disagree and say that all of the apps I use are tablet-optimized. To argue that most Android tablet apps aren't tablet optimized is to argue quantity over quality. iOS is not tablet-optimized in the sense that widgets are essential to a tablet experience. While I can understand the argument against widgets on a phone, tablets are another story. Nothing beats having a search bar at glance, my calendar widget showing my schedule for the day, and music controls right on my homepage. The essence of a tablet is to bridge the gap between computers and phones, and the iPad simply doesn't do it. However, iOS 7's new app switcher and control center bring it a little closer to having a true tablet UI, because as it stands, the iPad is simply a larger phone.

angermeans says:

So if i hear you right your saying that iOS on iPads are not tablet optimized because they don't sport laggy and useless widgets? You've got to be kidding me. Look, I bought both versions of the nexus 7 and they are great little tablets, but what makes a tablet is the apps not widgets and apps are severely lacking on the nexus 7. Most apps are just blown up phone apps (such as twitter and even when android finally does get a tablet optimized version of a huge company like twitter then you have Samsung paying money to keep it only on their tablets. This is only a part of the problems that plague android on tablets). The iPad is what people want not nexus 7s. They get nexus 7 because either they like the vanilla experience or they're in the market for a cheap tablet. The iPad is the market leader for a reason and them not having widgets is a non factor. Who cares about widgets when you have close to 500k tablet optimized applications. The reason the nexus 7 exists is because google and other OEMs know they can't compete with iPads so they simply compete on low end and ignore the high end market. I wouldn't usually comment on a post like yours but you have it so backwards (and I'm coming from using and liking both nexus 7 and iPads), but can clearly see where the market is and what people want in a tablet. There are many reasons you could say that android has some advantages over iOS (such as the share menu and the option to set default apps), but widgets are not one of them. I've owned over a dozen android phones and 4 android tablets and it is rare if I use widgets as all they do is lag the entire experience down. Seeing my calandra events is a simple pull down from the top. I don't need a cheap widget to show me my daily grind.

Connor Mason says:

You must not have used the new Nexus 7. This lag argument is truly irrelevant in Jelly Bean. Twitter has introduced a beta program which has had several UI updates recently. Again, the tablet's app selection is more than excellent. I don't need 500,000 tablet apps, I need about 25 which are all perfectly optimized. Widgets are an essential part of my day-to-day use, and if you had the new Nexus 7, you'd say the same and not look back. To declare the Nexus 7 as a cheap tablet simply because of the price is to ignore the fact that it is in fact a high-end tablet. I understand this is iMore and everyone wants iThings, but still. I come from the iPad 2, and the Nexus 7 is such a powerhorse compared to it in terms of functionality.

shiningwit says:

Surely the root of it is making sure that people have options and can make their device work the way they want it to?

Having the luxury of the use of both (Nexus 7 2012 and iPad 4), I find myself using them both totally differently. The iPad is good for apps that take advantage of the large screen and multimedia use such as videos or gaming but the Nexus 7 has plenty of it's own advantages - I have it set up with widgets showing information important to me such as agenda, messages, social notifications and it's great to be able to see all the information I most commonly look at without opening a bunch of different apps to see what is happening. Comparing the two may not even be fair as they are different form factors - for instance the iPad is atrocious for reading on, whereas the Nexus 7 is perfect for this. Perhaps a fairer comparison would be Nexus 10/iPad and Nexus 7/iPad Mini (which I wouldn't replace the Nexus 7 for as I've found the iPad mini too large to use in the same way as the Nexus 7).

If you prefer to do things one way, it doesn't mean other people can't prefer to do it another.

paulschram says:

It's funny because I grow tired of hearing things like the iPad is too big for this, or too large for that. It's a tablet. If you want something small to either game on or to read books...buy a phone. And then you say that even the iPad mini is too large to use for various things? I'll never understand any of this. Again, it's a tablet. It's supposed to be larger than a phone, or even a "phablet". Plus, people in their teens to late 20's are not the only people buying tablets. Not everyone has 20/20 vision and can really benefit from the larger size. Before the iPad 1 came out I had (and still do) an iPod Touch 3 ( I think, although now I have the Touch 5 ), which I downloaded the Kindle app onto. It was great. However being 49 at the time, and having worn glasses since I was 8 years old, I got headaches. And enlarging the font size just didn't look very good. When the iPad came out I was in heaven. Finally a bigger screen that I could do all my reading and watching videos on. It was great. As a matter of fact, I rarely use my computer any more. But what it boils down to is that for me, a tablet should be large. Anything smaller just doesn't cut it as a tablet and should be called a phone. Just my opinion.

shiningwit says:

It's funny because you've missed my point almost completely. Just to remind you, it was: "If you prefer to do things one way, it doesn't mean other people can't prefer to do it another."

You cannot seriously suggest that just because you enjoy reading on your iPad that that will be the same for everyone else. It's good that you use Kindle as your example as that is the app I usually use for reading. Perhaps I should clarify that where I compare the iPad and Nexus 7 for reading, that is my personal preference if it wasn't clear enough before. The Nexus 7 is perfectly the right size, weight and form factor FOR ME to comfortably read on for hours on end whereas my iPad feels unwieldy in comparison. I'm pleased for you that you have a good experience on your iPad for this (and it may work just as well for other people) - but that doesn't work for me.

Similarly, the Nexus 7 feels totally different to a phone and also to an iPad to me.

You say that you'll "never understand any of this". I don't think understanding is the issue - just that people simply can't accept other's personal preferences. The attitude of "I like this, so this must be right for everyone" is crazy.

Chris White11 says:

I really need to start taking screenshots of these statements, so I can make a little collage when Apple finally adopts widgets. We all heard the same thing about LTE. How unnecessary it was and how it just drained battery, but then that changed with the iPhone 5. Apple stood there and told their consumers how amazing LTE was, and made it sound like they magically created the very first phone capable of LTE connection. When the Nexus 4 was announced a little over a month after the iPhone announcement without LTE (for good reasons actually) those same Apple users used the lack of LTE as a huge deal.

One day Apple will adopt widgets, and when they "unveil" this new "innovation" in iOS 8 or beyond they will once again convince you how amazing it is. The Apple world will rejoice. BTW I have no idea which widgets you use; however, in JB I have never experienced any lag caused from widgets.

jtfolden says:

What you are saying is about user preference rather than what makes something tablet-optimized.

I don't use "widgets" on my desktop computer nor laptop and I don't need/want them on a tablet. In fact, they really don't make any sense as I spend my time USING the tablet, not staring at the tablet's home screen.

Why do I need a search bar always visible? I can access search with one swipe or a long press for voice search.

I don't need to stare at a calendar widget all day, again I can see my itinerary with one swipe and have alerts when it matters.

Music controls on the home screen aren't convenient. I'm probably working in an app so getting to music controls in the app itself isn't any harder, nor does it take any more time, than getting back to the home screen.

Connor Mason says:

You don't need widgets on a computer because you can have multiple applications running on the same screen. It makes no sense. However, for a device which cannot show multiple apps at once, being able to glance at all the information from the apps I regularly use on one screen is as essential to a tablet experience as it is to a desktop experience. As much of my incidental Nexus 7 use is googling (as was the situation on my iPad 2), nothing beats having search results a touch away. Apple's solution's involves plugging holes rather than crafting easy access to these things. From an iOS and Android user, notification center, control center, spotlight search, and Siri are not an encompassing solution for essential at-glance information.

jtfolden says:

Like I said, this is purely about personal preferences and isn't really related to tablet usage at all. It's equal to Windows vs OS X, what you personally prefer.

I don't have a search bar constantly open on my desktop, nor is my calendar constantly open, etc... Staring at a screen of widgets isn't helping me be more productive. I can swipe to pull in all that stuff as needed while I'm spending actual time using the apps.

I, also, fail to see how tapping a search bar vs swiping down for one is much different.

It's obvious what you prefer but it's only that - what *you* prefer. Your argument isn't convincing outside of that.

The Nexus 7 is a fairly nice device but Android simply isn't as well rounded for tablet usage for me as iOS and it's app ecosystem currently is...

prlundberg says:

"It's obvious what you prefer but it's only that - what *you* prefer. Your argument isn't convincing outside of that"

Exactly. And that's also what I would say about the article and your postings.

jtfolden says:

Which would be silly of you because I'm speaking of my own usage and experience rather than making a blanket statement.

Dean Lowe says:

You are strictly referring to what "you" like not what the majority does and I don't believe you conducted any type of survery of 50,000 Nexus 7 users to see what they preferred to have on their tablet. So you don't have any real statistics to base your facts on other than your own personal use.

Ruthless7 says:

"Bridge the gap between computers and phones"? But the iPad is a computer, unless the ones you have seen do not have the ability to compute!

Widgets are nice to have, but in reality are not that important. As I'm reading this article on my iPad, the last thing I want is for the display to be clouded with non-essential widgets, showing me the weather and travel conditions. I may be missing something, but as a male, my brain simply doesn't work that way. My eyes can't handle reading multiple things at once. This reminds me of those TV's that "feature" picture-in-picture functionality. Have you used that "feature" much? I didn't think so.

prlundberg says:

You don't know what widgets are do you? They are only on the home screens, not within apps. And completely optional. They are not at all like trying to watch two things at once. Some do more than others, but usually it's more like quickly glancing at the front page of a newspaper to get the latest news, weather, and sports headlines to see if anything of interest may be in there.

rashock says:

I can't believe you spent this much time on an argument about widgets. There's so many things that you can make a solid argument for an android device..... but widgets!?

prlundberg says:

They are very useful and change the way you use the device.

Some posters say it's all about personal preferences. That is true, but don't forget preferences are usually formed by needs and device usage.

And what I really don't get is why some people are so dead-set against Widgets. If you don't want to use them for whatever reason you don't have to. iOS would certainly benefit from them. As would Windows, whose non-interactive Live Tiles are a weak substitute.

Jim Gramze says:

Status Board for the iPad is a widget app that seems to do everything you are ranting on and on about widgets, and it allows you to create your own. There's an app for that.

prlundberg says:

Status board...$10, 3 star rating. It's designed to be a basic informational display. Looks more like Live Tiles to me. Here's an excerpt from a MacWorld review:

"It's important to note that Status Board is a niche tool; it’s not something you're likely to use casually at home or if you only have one iPad."

Really, what it comes down to is that if you think that is really a substitute for widgets, you don't understand widgets. That's like me claiming that Palm OS is the same as iOS. Widgets offer far more customizations, flexibility, and interaction. I'm sorry if you feel us having to clarify what widgets are and what they can add to the tablet experience constitutes "ranting". We are only trying to clear up some of the ignorance.

jtfolden says:

When someone comes along posting that iOS is unfit for tablet usage because it doesn't have widgets then it's a fairly ridiculous assertion. Widgets may be nice but they aren't essential... nor is it a perfect way to convey snippets of data. As an option they would be fine but when posters starting talking about them as "essential" and the basis for climbing iOS is not good for tablets then it's pure hyperbole.

dvdphn says:

I think the essence of a tablet is to provide a stepping stone/mid-level computing device for most people from the opposite viewpoint that you're coming from. The "iPad is simply a larger phone" is a good thing, because "most people" learn to use phones much more easily than laptop/desktop computers, (and by "most people", I mean muggles, tech-phobic, tech-illiterate, the 80% of the general population that will never come across this article/comment).

Widgets may be essential to *your* tablet experience, but it's debatable that it's essential to *the* tablet experience. Some people can't deal with too much visual clutter, even if they are showing useful information.

AdamChew says:

Frankly I don't use the Nexus and I don't care.

aerovtp says:

I'm sorry but I'm going to have to disagree with some of the things you are saying here. Not all apps are tablet-optimized, in fact, I am fairly disappointed with the apps for the Nexus 7 since most tablet-optimized apps work on 10 inch tablets while 7 inch tablets get scaled up smartphone apps. But I'm not going to argue about your views of liking androids widgets because thats a subjective thing. To also avoid being called a fanboy, i'm an android developer who can't wait for the iPad Air.

bobbob1016 says:

I don't think iOS is tablet optimized, because it doesn't have to be. The only difference (apart from number of icons on each home screen) between iOS 7 on an iPad vs iPhone is how the Control Center looks. For iOS, that is optimized.

However, I have yet to see an app that doesn't work well on my N7, apart from a browser selector (which doesn't need to be tablet oriented). One of the upsides of Android's fragmentation in terms of screen size, is a lot of apps can natively handle a big screen.

Optimized and Tablet apps are, no pun intended, Apples and Oranges. Optimized is relative, and iOS is tablet optimized. Tablet apps are relative, as iPhone apps just have 2 sizes to worry about, Android apps have a lot more, so they could be more Tablet agnostic.

worknman says:

'only 1-2% of apps available that ARE tablet optimised'

You must not have used an Android tablet in the last couple of years. There are a LOT more tablet-optimized apps than there used to be. I haven't personally found this to be an issue. Sure, there may be more apps for the iPad, but considering the Nexus 7 destroys the Mini in just about every other area, unless you're into some really niche thing, I'd give Android tabs (the Nexus 7 in particular) a serious look.

pookyjoralyn says:

Now I'll switch to Lumia 2520, same price as the Air but with LTE!

Chris Parsons says:

And less apps. Though to MS credit, they've been ramping things up in that area.

pookyjoralyn says:

I know that, but the store has improved a lot, and I'm not an app-aholic

prlundberg says:

True, but also a lot more native capabilities within the OS.

Trappiste says:

Except that the difference is not a hundred dollars, but hundreds of dollars, compared to HD-screen Androids by Amazon, Google, which effectively cost half of what a similar iPad costs. Even the Surface and Nokia tablet are less expensive than Apple's, and these are premium products.

Apple is over pricing. But Apple always does that. They do not care for market share but for profit -- iPad 2 and iPhone 4 would not be selling today if it were not so. Why is this difficult for "analysts" to grasp?

Faruki AwangLong says:

For me the price of the new iPad mini is ok.

Derrick4Real says:

i'm always perplexed when the Apple Mafia (just made that up, you can use it) says these are premium products; says they are luxury products then get's upset when people say they are overpriced. I'm sorry a ton of apple products are super pricey. And having no good competition doesn't make something not overpriced.

tysartor says:

If people will buy, then they aren't overpriced. Looking forward to getting the iPad mini so I guess Apple "got me again."

Sent from the iMore App

joshrocker says:

A lot of those early $1000 price expectations were based off the fact that most of us thought we would be getting a more powerful tablet based off of Mac OS. Something closer to a Mac air (without a keyboard) then what we ended up with. I don't think most people thought we'd get what really ended up being an iPhone with more screen real estate (I don't mean that as knock, as I bought the first ipad and absolutely loved it).

Jim Gramze says:

I'd have to say the iPhone is a small iPad, not the other way around. The iPad was developed first even though it was released second. They are different experiences and different apps excel on one device and not the other; indeed many apps for the iPad are not offered on the iPhone — that is proof enough.

byerspc says:

I think my biggest issue is they didn't differentiate between the mini and the air much. They also have not bumped up the starting storage in 3 years. Why not start the air at 32 GB and leave the mini at 16 etc.

StuartV says:

"I’m happy to pay an extra $1-200 for a tablet that makes my life more fun and simple."

A 16GB iPad sells for $499. A 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 sells (on Amazon) for $359.

The Tab 3 seems to fall right into the middle of your price range where you're willing to spend the extra for the iPad. So, how does an iPad Air make your life more fun and simple in a way that a Galaxy Tab 3 would not? Objective answers, please. What does the iPad let you do that you can't do on a Tab 3?

If somebody wanted a tablet and they only had $360, and they wanted to use said tablet for the full extent of what an iPad Air will let you do, would you seriously tell them that they are just out of luck? That a $360 tablet will not do what they want it to do?

I think Apple is rapidly becoming the Harley-Davidson of mobile computing.

prlundberg says:

"I’m happy to pay an extra $1-200 for a tablet that makes my life more fun and simple."

Just to add to that comment, "fun and simple" is rather personal isn't it? If I and all my family and friends have to buy all Apple products and accessories to get everything to work, and install and perhaps purchase an app for just about every little thing I want to do, that's not exactly simple and fun, is it? If it doesn't offer me functionality like multitasking or NFC? If I prefer to consume media on a 16:9 screen? If I want to cusomize my experience to best meet my needs? If I want to play flash games and video on my browser? Not to mention "simple" and "fun" don't always go together to begin with, unless perhaps you are trying to entertain a toddler.

I'm not saying the iPad can't be simple and fun. I'm saying that depends on what you want to use it for.

Jim Gramze says:

My iPad is an extension of my Apple ecosystem, other-branded tablets can't do that. The most obvious case is where the iPad acts as a controller for Logic Pro X where I can remotely control Logic from my iPad from a music workstation away from the main computer and also have multi-touch functionality for things like moving multiple faders or strumming guitar chords in ways I cannot otherwise do. People tend to talk about these devices as ends unto themselves when they can be so much more as the iPad is. What good is a mobile phone without cell towers or people to talk to? Self-enclosed activities are fine but there is also a larger picture, an ecosystem.

StuartV says:

Yes, for music production work, iOS has a clear advantage. For the other 99% of people, that is moot.

Otherwise, Android has an ecosystem, too, so what's your point?

You have your music workstation. I have a $35 Chromecast inserted into my TV. I can pick up any of my devices (laptop, tablet or phone) and kick off watching a movie (from Hulu or Netflix or Google Play store, currently - or ANY source on the web, via my laptop browser). I can play/pause and even control the volume. AND, if convenience works out that way, I can pick up a different device and control it from there without interrupting the stream. I can start a movie from my tablet, then, while my g/f is still watching, I can take my tablet and go to my office to deal with an emergency, while she continues to watch the movie at home, uninterrupted. And she can play/pause/adjust volume from her Android phone (even though I started it from my tablet) while I'm still there and after I leave.

Justin Miller7 says:

My original iPad (gen. 1) still works perfectly and has done so after 250,000 miles of air travel; my iPad 3 has been dropped, manhandled by security in 12 countries and is unblemished and happily serves both for personal and business use, now powering Keynote presentations and running an on-stage guitar rig (replacing 30 lbs of gear which cost more than 2 grand). Please show me a plastic toy from Apple's "competitors" which could come close! I'll be ordering both an iPad Air and a Retina mini and will be happy to pay Apple's price for the yeoman duty these devices will undoubtedly fulfill for years to come.

By the by, my PowerBook 100 still works after 3 Sony VAIOs failed. The premium price for Apple products is what my wife has termed the "longevity" tax, the one tax I don't begrudge paying.

Sent from the iMore App

prlundberg says:

The Surfaces are very well built and Microsoft has pledged 4 years of support for it. Don't get me started on a work capability comparison as I don't feel like writing such a long post today. Our Surface and also our two Nooks have survived a household with 3 kids under 7. My HTC phone is still plugging away fine two years later with its aluminum chassis and soft-touch back dented and scarred from abuse that surely would have shattered the glass-backed iPhone4 that was selling at that time.

It's fine to be satisified with your iPads, they are great tablets, but please stop pretending nobody else can build good devices. That's utter nonsense.

mritalian76 says:

I hope you're not comparing surface pros to iPads. Two totally different tablet computers. If your talking about surface rt's lol .. That's another story all together.

prlundberg says:

Yes, I am talking about a Surface RT.

What of it? I could write all afternoon about why it is superior to the new iPad Air and Mini for my mobile needs. But somehow I don't think it would sink in with this audience, so I don't know if the effort would be worth it.

mritalian76 says:

The pro a would agree. But then again the pro is not an equal to any other tablet out there. The RT not even close but thats my opinion. I had one for about 3-4 weeks after returning it like many have. It just did nothing for me any different than the ipad. Plus having a MacBook Pro and an iMac everything works together for me. And please believe me I wanted to like it BAD!!!

prlundberg says:

How the RT does what you want it to compared to an iPad is your opinion. I can't tell you what your needs and priorites are. If the iPad works better for your needs, great, I hope you enjoy it.

However now the iPad seems like a toy to me and I personally don't have much use for it. That's also opinion, but it's based on the fact that the iPad and iOS simply don't do a lot of what I use my Surface for or don't do it very well. This includes but is not limited to Office, multitasking, pc-level browsing, multiple users, and standardized interfaces and drivers that work with other non-proprietary devices with no fuss.

And the comment I originally responded to here was talking about quality. My Surface RT is well built and has been continually updated throughout the past year. It's almost a different device compared to when it was released. Fast, fluid, and with more functionality and cohesiveness than it started with.

StuartV says:

Good on yer iPads and PowerBook! My Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet has served me just as well in the "withstand abuse" (like, for example, my g/f dropping it onto the pavement when opening my truck door - twice) category. It has some scratches on one corner and that's it.

The iOS devices definitely have an advantage (currently) in the music production arena. But, then, they all lose out in productivity compared to my Note because of its built-in digitizer and stylus. I haven't taken a note on actual paper since I got my Note. And the advantage in music production is certainly a niche that doesn't apply to the vast majority of tablet purchasers (unlike note-taking).

I have 3 Dell laptops. The oldest is now 10 years old. They all still work perfectly. And guess what, unlike my new (work-issued) MacBook Pro Retina 15, I can actually get a docking station (from the laptop manufacturer) for any of my Dells. Using one for work, where I want to connect 2 external monitors, an external keyboard and mouse, a gigabit LAN connection, and external speakers, is actually EASY. Completely unlike the MBP where I can only get an aftermarket dock and it's double the price (of a Dell dock), and it still requires me to buy additional adapters to hook up my 2 monitors, I still have to plug the dock in AND plug in AC power, and, takes up a bunch of extra space on my desk.

Seriously, for average consumer use, there is NO objective justification for the extra money for an iPad.

Carioca32 says:

" Apple is clobbering Microsoft"

And is getting clobbered by Android tablets in return. BTW, what has Microsoft to do with anything? This "Post PC" serves only one purpose, to give Apple fans something to cheer about, to revisit their PC Wars trauma. Meanwhile iMac sales are down 11%, so naturally the Apple media is pushing this Post PC nonsense.

mulasien says:

"And is getting clobbered by cheap <$200 Android tablets which Apple does not care about competing with for market share arguments."

Fixed quote for accuracy.

prlundberg says:

Market share isn't everything, but it does matter. Just ask Palm and RIM...er...Blackberry...er...Fairfax/Lenovo/Whatever. Or even Apple, 20 years ago.

mulasien says:

I agree that market share matters....to an extent.

The only way that Apple could be market share leaders in the phone and tablet arena is to undercut the price of their products so much that they make razor thin margins, or reduce the quality of the products in order to compete on price. There is no way that Apple can compete with cheap products (not just cheap in price but quality as well) without significantly damaging their branding as a high quality premium product. Apple has gone so far as to state that outright after the outcry that the 5C wasn't 'cheap' enough. However, their market share is good enough that they don't have to worry about trying to compete with the low end of the market that targets the 'price conscious above all else' market. It's not their MO, nor should it be.

Carioca32 says:

Of course Apple "does not care", now that it lost the lead, but in every keynote before it was all about how the iPad was the best selling tablet etc. The day the iPhone does not get record sales Apple will "stop caring" about that as well, just as it "does not care" that iMac sales are down. I bet now they do not care that the 5c is a flop, it was all part of their plan from the get go.

mulasien says:

I'm sure they care. Like I said in another response, market share does matter *to an extent*. However even the most hardcore biased Android fan (which you appear to be) has to admit that the only way Apple could get top market share billing is to drop their prices enough to compete with the super cheap phones and tablets that are for the most part, bargain bin garbage. Apple has already gone on the record to say that they don't care about competing with the low end price market (I believe Tim Cook's exact words were "we don't make junk"). However, their market share is certainly big enough to be doing quite well for themselves.

Additionally, you're also looking at US market vs. the world market. Android certainly has a bigger foothold in developing countries who are more price sensitive, where the proliferation of super cheap Android devices have more of an audience. Apple is trying to get into those markets, but again - not at the price of making junk to compete.

Also, they only have less market share if you lump in ALL Android devices from all Android manufacturers together to compare to them, which is a pretty poor metric to begin with. You're comparing one manufacturer with everyone else that can put a free Android OS on their phone and sell it (of which most, except the higher tier offerings from Samsung, HTC, LG, etc are indeed junk). That's like me saying that Ford trucks have less market share than all other trucks sold by all other manufacturers in the world combined, therefore Ford sucks. That's just silly. The only Android manufacturer that comes close to them is Samsung, no one else is even close.

Carioca32 says:

Strangely enough, I have two iPads, two iPhones, and not a sinle Android device. Its the over the top bias passing as educated assessment that drives me nuts. In general I don't disagree with you, but I also think that Apple cares a *lot* about market share, it just cares more about profit, and that works against its customers. The "we don't make junk" arguments are a smoke screen to "we charge whatever we want because we are confident people will pay", which is fine from a business stand point, I just wish people were straight about it and not try to pass it as a "higher moral ground" on product quality. It is all made in China, by the same factories, and all have basically the same quality. The real difference is in our perspective.

Peter McKenna says:

Let's stop pretending apple has no room to drop their prices without killing their profit margins. There's a reason apple can obtain such ridiculous profit with their current market share. Because they charge an arm and a leg for their products. The galaxy s5 costs $50 more to build than the iPhone 5s yet they cost the same to the consumer. Add to that the fact you have to pay $100 for nothing else but a 16gb upgrade that would cost you less than $10 on any android with a micro sd slot, and the slave wages they pay the people who don't commit suicide to assemble their products in China, it becomes obvious that even compared to high end android devices apple is over priced. Apple has the largest profit margins of any mainstream tech company by far. It's not their concern for quality that keeps them from dropping their prices, it's their greed.

Jim Gramze says:

I'm loving my new iMac that I received recently with all the trimmings. I lived through the PC wars and was not traumatized. My only concern was that I got what I liked best and Apple survived. I don't need anything to cheer about so far as who is "winning". Don't care. I have my ecosystem of iMac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV and they all work as a magnificent whole cooperatively. I hope others have a similar experience if they want it.

prlundberg says:

There's nothing wrong with buying what you like. Sometimes people take these discussions too personally. I may come off like that at times, I think everybody can be guilty of that from time to time, but really I'm just discussing things I have an interest in. I found the same thing with cars. I'm much happier now that I've started buying the vehicles I like rather than what magazines and internet forums recommend. Sure I still care about specs and features because I obviously want to meet my needs. I just don't care about their subjective opinion anymore because it's mostly nitpicking insignificant differences. Ironically for a post on this website, that's also why I am no longer in the Apple ecosystem. To each their own. The fierce competition has made for some truly spectacular devices from everybody.

sting7k says:

The iPad is over priced compared to all the other jumbo phones (aka) tablets in developed markets.

captobie says:

Sadly, we live in a world where low price trumps everything. If you're not cheap you're not competitive. Apple is the rare exception to that rule. As much as I'd like to pay less for my Apple toys, I'm happy that Apple has resisted to calls to go cheap. Apple is only doomed if they choose to go the cheap route, the brand would lose its premium luster and they would be crushed by the commodity manufacturers.

prlundberg says:

But there's a difference between being cheap and being overpriced. Apple has the highest profit margins in the business and they have over $100 Billion in the bank just sitting there doing nothing. They are selling a three generation old iPad at an equal or higher price than competitors which are better in every way (except, arguably, the ecosystem).

This was a fine business strategy when nobody else had products that could compete. Now that they can compete it becomes unsustainable. This has happened in the past to Apple and it looks like it may happen again.

Jim Gramze says:

I don't understand keeping the iPad 2 except as a ruse to get people in the door and then up sell them. I'm a big fan of Apple products, but keeping the iPad 2 on board is ridiculous. The ecosystem which includes all other Apple devices and services should not be underestimated. It is a wonderful thing taken together.

Ipheuria says:

It all comes down to something I saw in a tattoo shop once "Great tattoos aren't cheap and cheap tattoos aren't great". You can apply that to just about anything and you can definitely apply it here. Sure these $100 tablet device work, they do what they are supposed to do. The problem is when they don't do what they are supposed to do, when they don't work. Can you take it in for servicing at a place like the genius bar? not likely. Is there a 1 year warranty against factory defects? not likely. When a new version of the OS comes out can you update the software on it? maybe but I wouldn't count on it. If it slips out of your hand and crashes to the floor will you be able to pick it up and use it again with just a ding in the casing? again maybe but I wouldn't count on it. Sure the iPad is expensive that is how Apple makes their money. No one is saying that they are selling it at cost or losing on each sale. However it is more than just the device you walk out with that you pay for. The grass is always greener, these people who think Apple need to make a cheaper iPad don't expect a cheaper iPad. They expect the same iPad made today at a cheaper price. It wont happen so if the price did come down they would still complain because it would switch to complaints about how cheaply it is made, the cheap material used inside, etc.

Jim Gramze says:

Traditionally the Amazon Kindle was a loss leader to sell books at a profit. Google's devices and services can be used as loss leaders as a window into their ad business (which I personally abhor). The other device makers are caught in the unfortunate position of having to compete on price and are making precious little profit or losing money. Apple delivers a great experience at a premium price and that is obviously working. Microsoft is new to this device/services game and theirs is a situation that has yet to play out.

prlundberg says:

Things are quietly starting to come together for Microsoft. They failed to execute in a lot of ways on the original Surface, but what tends to get lost in that is just a year later they have the most complete collection of devices and services of anybody. Surface, Nokia, Skype, Skydrive, XBox games/music/video, Bing, Office, Lync, etc, etc. It's not all there yet, but the next few years will be interesting.

Sorry for getting off track.

Peter McKenna says:

Maybe those things will happen, but if they do I can buy that tablet again 4 times over and be just reaching the base price of an iPad. I'd rather take the greater risk of breaking a $100 tablet and not even worry about replacing it until the 5th time I break it than take the lesser risk of breaking an iPad and paying the genius bar an arm and a leg for a used one. The iPadmini without retina costs $220 for Apple to fix the screen. Or you could pay an extra $100 for your iPad to get apple care and then you only have to pay $80 (which would come to $130 per repair if you break it twice or $180 if you break it once(apple care only covers 2 repairs) to wait 3-5 business days to get a used iPad. You could buy nearly 2 cheap android tablets for the cost of fixing one iPad, and you wouldn't be outta luck for 3+ days unless you ordered it off the Internet. So the total cost for 3 iPads (2 of which are used and the same model as your original iPad) is $760 vs $700 for more twice as many brand new and current androids. In the same argument you could upgrade to a new and improved model every year or keep an iPad for 7 years (that's a long time in the tech industry). Apple has an expensive surprise around every corner, the over pricing of their main devices is just where they start to attack your wallet. Everything from usb-otg adapter "equivalents" to apps to charging cables cost significantly more for Apple products. Abs if you don't buy there products for every device you use, there goes your ecosystem. If I were to have bought the apple version of all my devices (laptop, phone, desktop, roku, tablet) I would have spent well over $1000 more (not even counting accessories) and had significantly less functionality. But to each his own.

FearL0rd says:

Thanks but I will go for Surface 2... I want a single device for everything.
No more 2 devices in my life

prlundberg says:

With my original RT, I have found I do still need a PC, if nothing else just for the large screens and disk storage. There are ways around that with cables and a network storage device, but it's not quite where I'd like it to be yet. Close, but not quite.

I no longer need a laptop for personal mobile use though, which is very nice.

Becjr says:

I did feel that Apple should have priced the iPad mini out at $299 rather than $329 a year ago... Now it's there - xD
I feel that Apple's iPad pricing is probably fair enough. I don't have access to the production manifests that drive the iPad price value. I don't know how much the materials, production, and logistics are to produce these fine devices. Nor am I privy to what kind of profit margin Apple needs to make producing and developing these devices worth while and a sustainable activity.
The only real problem I have is that having to live with a severely reduced income, I simply can't afford one - any.
So to those how can... Enjoy!

Sent from the iMore App

GuyBey0ndC00L says:

Think the price of both the iPad Air and Mini can use a little work. Its the 16gb models that need to go. Its not enough space these days. Apps are bigger, more movies and music are downloaded everyday. Average Picture these days are bigger than 2 (sometimes) songs. Prices should be iPad Mini Retina $399 32gb, non Retina mini $299 32gb. iPad Air Price $499 32gb all Wi-Fi versions for starter price.

prlundberg says:

We are seeing this with Google devices as well and it's frustrating. Not enough internal storage, no expandable storage. But they'll happily sell you space on the cloud for a recurring fee, or upgraded internal memory with upwards of a 1000% markup.

daniebello says:

I completely agree, no one wants a 16GB device anymore. Even my friends who aren't techy and follow these blogs complain of 16GB not being enough. The only person who space isn't a factor for them is my mother.

Ckidwell says:

"iPads are overpriced... compared to what?" Compared to their android competitors! The title seems ridiculous to me. The only tablets I have ever owned are full size iPads. I love them and think they are great. The new iPad air seems great also. But to sell an iPad 2 for $399 is outrageous. I was planning on buying a new iPad Mini w/ retina, but at $399 I will pass also, the price is just too steep for a 16gb device. The New Nexus 7 is $229, and with the great reviews is the reason I'm going to switch. Sure the builds are going to be different between it and the new iPad mini, but not enough to justify that type of price difference. And for all the comments about Android "lagging" and being "useless" I recently switched from my iPhone 5 to a Moto X. I am very happy with the phone. It works great, no lag issues whatsoever and all my favorite apps are available in Android and work just as good as their iPhone counterparts.

GuyBey0ndC00L says:

Apple selling iPad mini Retina at $399 for 16gb is very outrageous. 32gb at $399 should be the new standard.

daniebello says:

I don't think it's overpriced I just can't justify the $100 extra for an iPad Air with the same specs as the mini and the same processor as the iPhone 5S.

daniebello says:

The iPad 2 has long over stayed it's welcome and it's price range. It should have been replaced by the 3 and now the 4.

Harley Kid says:

unfortunately (or fortunately, however you look at it), the iPad2 is the I deal device to put next to the air when looking at it from the seller's point of view. Show them the initial offering and list its features, then right beside it (for a mere $100 more) you can have THIS! Some people that aren't that tech savvy in regards to the device differences, will believe that they have gotten either the "Ultimate NEW iPad" or walk away with the belief of "Man! I just saved a hundred dollars on an iPad2"

n apple says:

IPad isn't expensive because because there's a lot of android (and a few windows 8) junk tablets with horrible screens, with empty app
stores , and made of cheap plastic. And maybe iPad can't use desktops applications, or you can't change your ROM like in android, but they work incredibly well , they have and incredible battery life, and thousands of awesomes apps to do everything you want. The best example is the apple video " life on iPad " from the last Tuesday keynote.

Sagar Jacky says:

iOS keyboard hasn't changed in the last 7 years. Android keyboard allows gesture typing. If you don't like the stock android keyboard, you can replace it with other ones such as Swype and SwiftKey. After getting used to gesture typing, there's no way I'm going back to the alphabet-by-alphabet typing on iOS keyboard.
Android is way ahead than iOS. You can customize android to your heart's content and set the default apps you want. Widgets are so useful. Apple's only advantage is the app selection, but the gap is closing fast. Most of the major apps are now tablet optimized on android. Google's new initiative to highlight tablet apps starting Nov 21 will narrow the gap further.

DylanR201593 says:

I'll reference a great Tech guy Chris Pirillo, pricing is relative. He's mentioned similarly fifty bucks can be overpriced for something and three fifty can be a perfect price for something else. It's all about the value a person puts into what they are buying.