Apple isn't interested in becoming the low-price leader, and its premium-brand strategy has obviously proven very successful over the years. But given the aggressive pricing of some impressive competitors in the 7-inch tablet market, the company must be careful not to overprice the iPad Mini. A screenshot leaked last weekend, purportedly of an inventory system used by cellular operators and handset vendors in Europe and Asia, suggests the Mini will cost the equivalent of US $320 for a Wi-Fi-only model with 8 GB of storage. Prices will top out at $840 for a Wi-Fi + Cellular 64-GB model, if the screenshot is accurate.
By comparison, the nicely equipped Kindle Fire HD 16 GB starts at $199 with "special offers" (ads) or $214 without. While it's highly unlikely that Apple would shock the world with a loss-leader $199 iPad, a $249 entry-level model (8 GB, Wi-Fi-only) sounds a lot more appealing than something in the $320 range.