In the world of modern consumer technology the iPad mini is like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or extra terrestrials. Lot's of folks claim they exist, but there's no solid, public evidence. When it comes to the elusive iPad mini, we know nothing officially. Invitations to a supposed October 23rd media unveiling haven't even been sent out yet, and those were rumored to have been scheduled to go out back on October 10th. This wouldn't be the first time that the media's buzz got ahead of itself, with predictions of an Apple device that wasn't due to be released.
As of yet, Apple still hasn't offered any official comment as to whether the rumored 7.85 inch screened iPad mini even exists. So keep that in mind as you read on. That said, at this point there's been an abundance of leaked prototype and part images, along with confirmation of the iPad mini's likely existence from numerous reliable sources, including the Washington Post and the Loop's Jim Dalrymple, enough so as to make me feel like the Apple iPad mini is more than just a speculative lark. I'd say it's relatively safe to think that the iPad mini is going to hit the market, and very soon.
Now, according to German website Mobile Geeks (via SlashGear.com), an internal document has surfaced from German retail chain Media Markt, revealing a definite pricing structure for the mythical iPad mini.
According to the document pictured above, the iPad mini's pricing will be as follows:
8GB Wi-Fi only – €249 ($323)
8GB Wi-Fi and 3G – €349 ($452)
16GB Wi-Fi only – €349 ($452)
16GB Wi-Fi and 3G – €449 ($582)
32GB Wi-Fi only – €449 ($582)
32GB Wi-Fi and 3G – €549 ($711)
64GB Wi-Fi only – €549 ($711)
64GB Wi-Fi and 3G – €649 ($841)
What I find fascinating about this pricing structure is that if this is accurate, then Apple is clearly not worried about pricing the iPad mini in the same price bracket as the competion's tablets. Keep in mind, the 8GB Nexus 7 is only $199.00 and the soon-to-be-released Microsoft Surface is also rumored to cost consumers about $199.00. In fact, Apple's own iPad 2 starts at $399.00, which would only be a mere $75.00 more than the iPad mini, if the documents and price details are true. Of course, please consider all of this in light of the fact that Apple themselves have yet to issue any statement pertaining to the iPad mini's existence, much less pricing.
Clearly Apple isn't worried about the competiton or about cannabalizing their own iPad 2 product line with the new iPad mini, if this information is factual. If Apple isn't bending over backwards to meet the competion's prices head on, I would speculate that it is indicative that Apple knows they have a hot commodity, and a superior product on their hands; one with a specific niche market that will be all too eager to embrace this new iPad format.
Rounding up all the rumors and information we have about the iPad mini so far, almost all the major pieces of the puzzle have (tentatively) fallen into place, including: the iPad mini not having Retina display, while supposedly having a Lightning connector, an A5 chip set, dual bottom speakers, WiFi and 3G options, a 7.85 screen size and an appearance that is more iPhone than iPad, with it's thin bezel edges on it's long sides and wider bezels along the top and bottom. The only remaining big question has been what the pricing structure of the iPad mini might be, and how exactly it will fit in with the pricing of the iPad Touch line on one end, and the iPad (standard size) on the other end.
Stay tuned as details continue to emerge about the miniature iPad. Only time will tell...