24 ‘iPad mini’ SKUs reveal 12 models in black or white

“Apple next week is set to launch a new, smaller iPad that is expected to come in four different storage capacities and two color options,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“The full list of presumed ‘iPad mini’ product stock-keeping units, or SKUs, shows a total of 24 varieties,” Hughes reports. “Four different models will be offered — described as P101, P103, P105 and P107 — which one person familiar with the inventory said likely signifies four different storage capacities. The lineup could suggest that Apple plans to introduce an 8-gigabyte model that would serve as an entry-level model for the lower-priced 7.85-inch iPad. Currently, the full-sized iPad does not come with a storage capacity lower than 16 gigabytes.”

Hughes reports, “Each of the four different product descriptions also come with three different distinctions: ‘GOOD,’ ‘BETTER,’ and ‘BEST,’ which could signify Wi-Fi-only, 3G, and 4G LTE models, respectively. Each model is also available in ‘A’ and ‘B’ variants, which likely identify color options of black and white.”

Read more in the full article here.

43 Comments

  1. One thing I love about Apple is that they don’t do a lot of “customization”. I think 24 of one product line is a bit much. I’d go with only two capacities, two wireless options, and two colors.

    But it’s their company and their net worth is a few billion higher than mine, so whatever they decide is hopefully well thought out and not just a spaghetti/wall theory.

    1. Kevin : I’m guessing that they want to saturate the market initially. Further down the road they will eliminate models that do not sell wall. By initially producing so many variations of the iPad mini they have all the bases covered. The competition will have a difficult time competing at all those different levels. And they’ll sell like hotcakes!

    2. Regarding: “I think 24 of one product line is a bit much.”
      I had the same initial reaction. However, I think Gm hit the nail on the head with: “By initially producing so many variations of the iPad mini they have all the bases covered.”

      However, Gm missed the boat with “The competition will have a difficult time competing at all those different levels.”
      It should have read: “It will be impossible for the competition to compete at all those different levels.” Sorry Gm. My friends call me a “picky bastard” and those are my friends! 🙂

    3. I agree, 24 sounds like alot, but it’s really just 3 choices, ram, color and connectivity.

      I believe the reason for the 4 ram configs is to bring the entry level device down to a price point that makes Kindles and Nexi uncompetitive. That price is going to mean lower than average margins for Apple. The higher ram configs will have higher than average margins for Apple, bringing the whole product line in-line with Apple’s normal margins.

      1. Yes, I can see an 8GB entry-level iPm. I think an entry point of $249 is fair, but at that price (versus $199) they’ll still lose some sales to Kindle Fire ($159) and similar devices.

        If the CultOfMac SKU pricing is correct though, I do have to say the $100 jump from 8GB to 16 GB storage is ridiculous, and the 16GB will not sell as well as the 8 GB and 32 GB units. I’d certainly feel less robbed paying $200 more for 2x the memory of (while paying $50 less than) the entry-level 2012 iPad.

  2. I think that Apple is making a smart move here. Leave no one out. Since this market should be perfect for young children, schools and for those who simply cannot afford the iPad, this will provide a price that will reach more public than ever before. Lets just hope that SJ has room enough to roll in his coffin with great comfort and will be at peace.

  3. Apple has tapped into another energy source: they have wires in Steve’s coffin and magnets in his pockets so that as he spins he will generate enough electricity to power the new ‘space ship’ campus.

      1. The SKU leak is the first piece of credible news and makes it seem likely that Tim fell for the thing Jobs said needed sandpapered fingers for. Jobs is once again replaced by a sugar water salesman.

        1. Is it inconceivable that perhaps Jobs was wrong about something, or perhaps even more likely, that it was simple misdirection for competitors’ sake?

          Question for you: If an eight-inch screened tablet requires sandpapered fingers, then what does a 4″ or 4.5″ phone require?

        2. You are just spouting off nonsense.

          Steve’s comment was spin, he may have had his reasons (just didn’t like, worried about cannibalizing, etc) but at the end of the day any rational person would hear the sandpapered finger comment and ask: What about iPhone and iPod touch? Clearly the size is workable.

          The reality is that it is about the ecosystem and credit card captures. Apple needs a device in the price range of the Amazon solutions so they can use their stable of apps and content to lure users that are in this smaller device/price bracket that want a tablet experience.

          This is a wise move by Tim.

  4. How is your reasoning different than the old Mac versus Performa days?

    Across the full breadth of what might be considered a “tablet” in any way from Apple:
    12 iPod Touch versions (two sizes, six colors)
    24 iPad mini versions (four sizes, three variants, two colors)
    4 iPad 2 versions (one size, two variants, two colors)
    12 iPad 2012 versions (three sizes, two variants, two colors)

    (By “sizes” i mean memory sizes, variants are WiFi versus cellular)

    So a total of 52 different versions.

    If Apple does not give CLEAR reasons to differentiate these systems we will certainly be back to the Mac versus Performa days.

    1. I think you can look at it as the globalization of Apple – Apple is reaching out to a global audience for the iPad mini because its relatively low starting price for 8GB means that it has the capacity to act as an e-reader and in-car navigation system to penetrate education and motoring markets in third world countries with a large middle class population that doesn’t see much value is a smaller screen device such as an iPod touch and will not pay a higher premium for a full scale iPad. Both China and India come to mind.

      By offering a greater range of choices, Apple is saying to these markets that adopting new technologies for schools and universities need not be a daunting prospect and will fit any available budget. Some of these countries do not have a developed 4G infrastructure so offering a 3G radio as a cheaper cost option will push adoption for mobile computing. Once Apple sinks its hooks into you, you effectively become locked into the Apple ecosystem and will progressively upgrade to Macs as income rises.

      I don’t specifically remember the Mac/Performa days so cannot comment directly to that statement but I would have thought that Apple was a much smaller organization then, with a smaller global footprint and the American market could not sustain that many models which only served to confused consumers.

      The proliferation of choices for the iPad mini makes sense if you see it in a worldwide light addressing different markets with wide income disparities.

    2. It’s a tad different from the Performa situation. First, let’s eliminate touches from the equation–they should be understood to be a traditional “mp3 player” or PMP (personal media player), just barely small enough to take to the gym or running.

      The Performas had different CPU speeds, RAM, storage, and other options. There might’ve been a half dozen variants under a single Performa family (e.g. Performa 6200, 6215, 6220, etc), with a price spread of less than $200 between all of them. This meant potential buyers were almost as overwhelmed as they would be looking at PCs, had no idea what they were compromising on between models, etc.

      The iPad lines (iPad 2, iPad 2012, iPad mini) on the other hand only have two features (storage, cellular) and two personalization options (black or white). Storage and wifi-only/cellular options are easily explained, and unlike Performas these are more personal devices so some colour choice is warranted. Most people won’t lock up over choosing a colour.

      And as much as I personally think it’s a rip-off, the $100 separation between each storage option makes it clear what the compromises are.

      The only true remaining confusion is between the iPad 2 and 2012 iPad. Same physical characteristics, but different generations and you can’t tell at a glance what the differences are.

      1. Google Voice would be a viable first step. Or Skype You can have prepaid data plans that only charge you for the amount of data consumed in any given month. Voice over IP (VOIP) is treated as data and you can recieve incoming calls at your assigned GV or Skype number. If you set up notifications to give you a pop up alert with a tone, then you can receive calls by swiping on the alert.

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