The 7-inch iPad may not be a value product after all

By Jeremy Hill | for Gadgetell

Apple spent its entire media event this past Wednesday showing off the iPhone 5, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the iPod Nano and updated software for iOS and iTunes. We didn’t hear a peep about the fabled 7-inch iPad, so it’s fair to assume that’s being saved for a later event. However, I’m not so sure it will be the Nexus 7 destroyer many have made it out to be–assuming it’s real.

Here’s the problem:

The 7-inch iPad is believed to be a more budget-friendly version of the full sized iPad. It’s supposed to swoop in and completely take over what little market share other tablet manufacturers have left by becoming a champion of the 7-inch tablet market. While that could still happen, it doesn’t appear like the tablet will come cheap.

The pricing announcement of the iPod Touch was a little shocking: it’ll be priced starting at $299. That’s a full $100 more expensive than the cheapest Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. If we were to see a smaller iPad, there’s no way it would be sold cheaper than an iPod Touch. It just doesn’t make sense.

There’s a chance Apple won’t even announce a 7-inch iPad until 2013. By then, the iPod Touch could get a price drop and the difference in price won’t be so obvious. There’s also a chance Apple will give the smaller iPad older components that will be cheaper by next year. Even if that happens, is the price going to be lower than $299 when the iPod Touch is at that price point now?

What about the more expensive iPod Touch models? The price for the smaller iPad can’t get much higher than $299, because it will start to encroach on the previous generation’s full sized iPad.

I’m thoroughly baffled at this point. Maybe the iPad mini is about as real as the Apple television. At this point, the numbers are not adding up.

4 Comments on The 7-inch iPad may not be a value product after all

  1. This post well sums up why I believe the iPad Mini (or whatever the rumor says it’s being called) is never going to happen. Apple already has an iPad Mini — two of them, in fact: the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

  2. There are actually 2 different iPod Touch models available now. The 16GB ($199) /32GB ( $249) 4th generation model with the semi retina 3.5″ screen that matches the iPhone 4/4S in size.

    The new 5th generation iPod Touch is 32GB ($299)/64GB ($399) has the same 4″ “retina” screen as the new iPhone 5, among other things inherited from the iPhone 5.

    There seems to be a $50 premium to get that bigger screen, better camera (5MP iSight ), 1080p video recording (vs 4th gen’s 720p), etc.

    Since Apple never announced a 7″ iPad, I wouldn’t be surprised if it never happened.

  3. If you set the prices in relation to iPad 2 you could come up with prices that make sense. However, I share you skepticism that the iPad Mini is coming in October.

  4. These are excellent points. The iPad 2 sells for $399. The rumored “mini” is supposed to be the same hardware with a 7.85 inch screen. How can Apple justify selling the “mini” for, say, $299 when the iPod touch with less than half the screen size goes for that much, albeit with more memory?

    Apple would be cannibalizing its own market anyway it goes. Charge, say, $329 for the “mini” and it begs the question “why not pay $70 more for the big boy iPad?” Charge $299 and you kill the iPod Touch, not to mention the fact that at that price it doesn’t compete with the Nexus 7 or Fire HD on features and specs.

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