Rather than going with the 7-inch $200 price point that’s become the norm thanks to the popularity of the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle slates, Apple’s iPad mini may have the effect of pushing prices higher thanks to a slightly larger 7.9-inch display. One beneficiary to this higher price point may be Apple’s formidable rival Samsung, which is set to unveil its Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet at the end of the month at Mobile World Congress. Speculations posit that the Note 8.0 may have a price that’s closer to the iPad mini than to cheaper 7-inch Android rivals.
According to BGR, leaked pricing information from Bulgarian retailer tablet.bg claims that the Note 8.0 will be priced upwards of $300 to take on the iPad mini, which has a similar sized display.
This is interesting and it’s unclear if Samsung will find much success in placing a pricing premium on the 8-inch form factor. When Apple had announced the $329 pricing model for the entry level iPad mini, industry observers scoffed at the $129 price premium placed on the competitively priced 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet. Apple, which often promotes its clean design, use of premium materials–such as metals and glass–and the ease of use of its software and UI to justify any pricing premium. And indeed the unibody aluminum enclosure of the smaller slate does feel premium compared to everything else that’s available on the market today, save for Microsoft’s Surface tablets.
Samsung, which relies heavily on plastic parts to keep its products thin and light, will likely have to convince Android shoppers that a $100+ premium compared to other cheaper Android rivals in the same class will be due to the S-Pen digitizing stylus, which can be used to more accurately draw and write, navigate the OS, and deliver enhanced functionality, such as enabling a hover feature similar to hovering the mouse of a desktop PC interface over a web link.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 should be available for purchase by as early as March according to leaks.