iPad mini rumours are spilling onto the web like… well, every iOS device before it, so it’s often hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here’s one with genuine clout – the New York Times is reporting that Apple’s expected ‘tweener device will retail for less than the £399 iPad.
How much less? “Significantly less,” according to “several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named”. Presumably this would mean a price that’s below even that of the £329 iPad 2, which currently serves as Apple’s tablet entry point.
If reports that the so-called iPad mini would sport a 7(ish)-inch form factor weren’t enough of a clue, this sub-£300 price point would surely reveal Apple’s intentions to directly take on the Amazon Kindle Fire.
The Kindle Fire might not be as ubiquitous as the iPad family just yet, but that’s arguably because it’s only available in the US, where it’s doing very well indeed. A large part of this success is down to its staggeringly low $199 price tag.
Indeed, Apple won’t be the first tech giant to react to Amazon’s cheeky low-ball. Google recently launched its own 200 dollar 7-inch tablet device, the Nexus 7, to widespread acclaim.
We doubt very much Apple will be indulging in wholesale copying, though. Just last week we reported on the rumour that the 7.85-inch iPad mini would keep the iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio rather than adopting the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7’s widescreen 16:9 form factor.
At any rate, three highly proficient tech companies all forcing each other to make cheaper and sleeker devices could only be considered a win for the consumer.