Apple's (AAPL) Mini iPad Price Could All but Eliminate the Competition

August 30, 2012 9:01 AM EDT
All signs point to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) unveiling a smaller iPad unit sometime between now and 2016. But, just how much will that unit cost?

According to CNET, citing an IHS iSuppli analyst, the price could be as low as $249. Though the analyst says Apple could sell an iPad mini for $299 and be comfortable with that, or go as high at $349 for a smaller version of the world's most beloved tablet PC, $249 would drive a nail in the coffin of many device manufacturers.

But, $249 would also provide some issues. That price might mean the iPad mini won't be equipped with 4G LTE capability. (Of course, given that 3G iPhones and iPads have sold tremendously well without the added speed, 4G might not be a necessity.)

One tech giant that sniffs imminent danger is Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). The Internet search giant recently launched its Nexus 7 tablet and also made that fact known via a rare homepage ad. Google, for its part, is pulling out all the stops in what could be one of the most competitive holiday shopping seasons for tablet devices.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) will launch its new Surface tablets in October, with the release of Windows 8. It's partners with also debut tablet devices. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is holding an event in September, which might mean a new Kindle Fire tablet. There will also be a handful of updates and releases from other manufacturers as well.

So, pricing will be key for Apple as the environment gets tougher and tougher. At the same time, it will still want to offer the quality user interface Apple devotees have come to know and love.

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