When Apple had announced the iPad mini at a special media event in San Jose, California for the starting price of $329, a few onlookers were disappointed that Apple did not do more to meet Google’s and Amazon’s $200 starting price for those companies’ 7-inch tablets. According to Apple’s marketing head Phil Schiller, there is a warranted ‘Apple tax’ that’s been levied on the iPad mini, making it more expensive than competing slates running rival mobile operating systems, such as Google’s Android OS.
In the past, an Apple tax has been used by non-Apple supporters to mock the higher price that Apple loyalists are willing to pay for an Apple-made product.
In an interview with Reuters, when asked if the price conscious customers may be deterred from the iPad mini’s $130 price compared to its popular inexpensive rivals, Schiller says ‘he believes consumers will see Apple’s smaller tablet as a premium product worth paying for,’ highlighting the design, build quality, and user experience of the iPad mini as standout points that discerning customers would likely notice.
Since the iPad launched a few years ago, Apple has held a dominant position in the tablet space despite an increasing number of competitors. “Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they’ve failed miserably,” Schiller said. “These are not great experiences.”
Apple’s team compared its 7.9-inch tablet next to the Nexus 7 on stage at the media event.
To further defend the price tag of the iPad mini, Schiller highlighted that even with the iPad 2’s $400 price tag, there were still plenty of people who chose the iPad 2 over cheaper alternatives.
Apple took a lot of time at the media event to highlight the robust app ecosystem for its platform, noting that over 270,000 apps were designed for the tablet to make good use of the larger real estate of the slate. Given that the iPad mini has the same screen resolution as the iPad 2, the iPad mini will easily tap into Apple’s robust tablet-ready catalogue of apps.