GADGET DESIGNER Apple announced a smaller version of its popular Ipad tablet on Tuesday, the Ipad Mini. With a price of £269, those in the market for a 7in tablet have argued it's a little more expensive than hoped, especially considering that Google's Nexus 7 tablet is selling for a starting price of £159.
But not everyone agrees. Speaking to The INQUIRER, Gartner research director Roberta Cozza said that pricing the Ipad any lower could damage Apple's brand, which is known for its traditionally premium priced products.
"The price that they have kept is good for them and they didn't go too low. Doing so could hurt the brand and I don't think they could have gone lower," Cozza said.
"Over the year they may introduce a 64GB version and maybe lower the price of the 16GB version, like they did with the Iphone."
Cozza said that despite Apple being recognised for its innovation, the Ipad Mini release is Apple responding to a trend.
"They've defined the tablet market with the 10in but with this one it's more of a reaction to something that's new. It's still good for them, however, that they have kept in the old Apple fashioned way a premium offering despite going for lower costs."
Cozza also thinks that the Ipad Mini will be successful in the run-up to Christmas despite Google's lower priced rival tablet because of two critical factors, the first being the Apple brand and secondly, the tablet's design.
"Consumers that are interested in buying a tablet which can be an additional device on top of what they already have, buyers will consider two main things, the design and the brand - when picking a tablet.
"The Apple brand I think, compared to the Nexus brand to a consumer is stronger. Some consumers will consider its association with Google and some not, then there is the ecosystem story.
"I think today Apple has the strongest ecosystem. For example, the smartphone market so big and you have so many applications, I think the ecosystem around the Iphone and Ipad and now the Ipad Mini is stronger in terms of content applications which are also optimised for that form factor."
Cozza argued that "price isn't everything when it comes to tablets" and said that consumers will also consider other factors when buying a tablet, even on this lower end tier of the market.
This could possibly change next week when Google holds its Android event. The search engine firm is staying mum about what it will announce, but we might see some new tablet devices. If true, Cozza said that Google really needs to announce a device that really "steps up" its ecosystem around the tablet, otherwise the battle against the Ipad Mini - which offers "lower costs but a premium offering from the point of view of the ecosystem" - is going to be tough.
Announced to challenge the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, the Apple Ipad Mini features a 7.9in 1024x768 touchscreen. Apple was keen to point out that this screen is 29 percent larger than the one on Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet and offers a 49 percent larger web browsing experience, due to the tabbed browser and onscreen controls found on the Android operating system.
This 7.9in table is powered by a dual-core A5 chip and measures 7.2mm thick. According to Apple, the Ipad Mini is "as thin as a pencil, and lighter than a notebook," weighing just 308g. µ