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October 3rd 2012 10:18 am

Wall Street Journal reports production of iPad mini has begun.

The iPad mini rumors have been swirling for a while and as more pictures of parts continue to leak (9to5mac.com­/2012­/10­/02­/purported­-ipad­-mini­-parts­-s...) they seem to be more and more credible. Well, this morning The Wall Street Journal (online.wsj.com­/article­/SB1000087239639044363540457... sorry, subscription required) has stated their sources have informed them that production has in fact started. This is an interesting time for this to come out, with the launch event rumored to be happening in a couple of weeks -- and invites rumored to be going out in just a few days (tech.fortune.cnn.com­/2012­/10­/01­/rumor­-ipad­-mini­-in...)

Given the release of the new iPod touch last month, this is a very interesting move by Apple, but it almost makes sense. With Google, Amazon and even Barnes & Noble pushing 7-inch devices you had to expect Apple would try to come in at some point. The one issue with this though will be pricing. The iPod Touch starts at $299 for 32GB and the iPad 2 starts at $399 for 16GB. It’s almost as if Apple has backed themselves into a corner with pricing because $350 (splitting the difference here) for a 7-inch device is pretty high comparative to costs of the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD.

The one area that seems to still remain slightly hidden are the features of Apple’s mini iPad. If they do in fact want to compete in that space while keeping pricing somewhat competitive (remember Apple has never been one to play the pricing game) you have to wonder if they will be giving up features to get the right price. Will Apple go the first iPad route and just get something out or will they try to make a proper miniature version of the new iPad?

It’s safe to say that the next few days will be interesting as more and more keeps leaking out. Given how much came out on the iPhone 5 prior you can’t help but wonder if the same will happen here.

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7 replies

i don't think apple really has a choice but to enter the 7inch tablet space. this is a space they could take a chunk of the profit from and i don't see apple passing that us especialy since now that we have the Fire, and Nexus 7 proving the space is viable.

my guess is its going to sell starting at $300. i would hope it would start $250 but i don't expect it to. my guess is its going to have similar specs to the iPad 2. i would like for it to have Retina but I'm not sure apple would do that on a "1st Gen." product.

Now if they came out with a 7inch device with Retina, and 16,32, and 64 GB options as well as 3G it would be something i would consider buying. i prefer the 7inch size for these types or tables. its large enough to watch movies and still small enough to carry around easily in a large pocket. i have the Nexus 7 and find it to be the perfect size.
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I'm with you on tablet size. I may lock in a price on trade-in with sellyourmac and pay close attention to the event. If the price is really right and the screen isn't that big of a hit I may go to iPad+Kindle combo.
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i still have my black Kindle and i use it for reading books still. i like the tablets but i still find it easier to read books on the Kindle e-ink then the displays of the tablet.s
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Add me to the 7 inch fanbase. After using a few various sized galaxy tabs (7, 8.9, 10.1), the original galaxy note (5.3) and now a nexus 7 I think seven inches is a fantastic size.

Now I don't see myself leaving the Nexus 7 for an iPad mini, but if I did, it would be because of Apple Newsstand. I am longing for a great magazine experience which Google Play doesn't provide in Canada :(
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I'm wondering where Apple's going to go with pricing, too. I have a feeling they may discontinue the iPad 2 and replace it with the mini. That would give them the 4-inch iPod touch at $299, the 8-inch mini at $399 and the 10-inch iPad at $499. While $399 is double what you'd pay for a Fire HD or Nexus 7, Apple has always been able to get away with premium pricing, and I don't see them doing anything different with the iPad mini.
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I'm not sure any one would buy one at $399 when you can get the regular iPad for $499 especially if they are both 16GB devices.

i think apple will make one at the $250 to $300 price range but its going to be wifi only and probably only 8GB. Now if they also have one with Retina and 16GB starting at $399 i think it may work then because people will look at the cheaper one and see the major upgrades for only about a hundred bucks more.

but i agree with you, Apple sells a premium product and they know people will pay more for the apple stickers.
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The one area they HAVE played the pricing game though is tablets. Maybe it's been more that the competition until recently have just done a damned poor job matching price/size with Apple's iPad, but they've always been pretty competitive in the tablet space, especially once the 3 hit, and they offered the 2 for $100 less as well.

It really does seem like they've backed themselves into a corner with the iPod, but they could technically justify the price disparity simply because it's a different market aiming for different users. It wouldn't be the total truth, but since when does that stop any big company?
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