re: iPad Mini: The Great Price Debate
Very good move on pricing. You don't want to set a price that leaves money on the table. I predicted $329 months ago.
We kind of knew that the iPad Mini was going to have a 1024 x 768 screen, even though this is much lower pixels per inch (PPI) than the competition. I was hoping that the premium price would be accompanied by a screen PPI at least comparable to the Nexus 7, but it was not to be. At that PPI, the iPad Mini is not going to be purchased for use as an e-book reader. My daughter just went off to college with a Nexus 7 because she wanted a 7" tablet with a high-resolution screen to use for e-books, and she thought the iPad 3 was too big.
The other big drawback to the iPad Mini, in my opinion, is that you don't get a GPS unless you purchase one of the models with a cellular modem. This has always been the case with iPads, but I was hoping that since the competition includes the GPS on Wi-Fi only tablets (which constitute more than 90% of tablet sales) that Apple would decide to include it as well. The smaller tablets are ideal for travel use, and having a GPS is essential.
Still, a great many people will buy the iPad Mini without realizing its drawbacks. Then Apple can introduce the iPad Mini 2 next year with a higher resolution display and a GPS (the USB port isn't going to happen), and sell these people the upgraded model, since by then they'll have purchased a lot of apps and won't want to switch ecosystems. Very clever move by Apple.
It's not unlike the iPhone progression where they left 3G and voice dialing off the original iPhone, or how they left LTE off the iPhone 4/4S, and how they left NFC and simultaneous data and voice off the Verizon and Sprint versions of the iPhone 5. With NFC missing, they kept something for the iPhone 6. Even though the Samsung commercial that points out the lack of NFC is very amusing, it's unlikely that the lack of NFC cost Apple more than a handful of iPhone sales. Not unlike the iPad progression either, where the first model had no camera, the second model had a mediocre camera, but the third model had a very good camera and a better screen.
People criticize Apple for being behind the competition in terms of features and capabilities but they need to understand that everything Apple does in terms of deciding when to add features and capabilities is carefully planned to maximize revenue and they're doing a very good job at this. Be happy that a U.S. company is selling lots of products that are popular all over the world, even if the products aren't manufactured here. Apple employs a lot of people in the U.S. in design, programming, and sales & marketing.