Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers

By SteveJack

Some people haven’t been paying attention for the past three decades, so I have a newsflash for them: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers.”

The latest “shock” to the perpetually Apple-ignorant on Wall Street is the iPad mini, which starts at US$329, not the $199 or so that iPad wannabe outfits charge for their ecosystem-free, tiny screen, cheap plastic slabs of junk. Whoever thought Apple was going to play at the bottom of the barrel either hasn’t been paying attention or was born yesterday. Wake up or have a happy birthday.

Apple’s Phil Schiller told reporters as much today following the iPad mini’s debut, saying he expects consumers to recognize quality and be willing to pay for it.

And those who won’t deserve their fate.

“Theirs is made of plastic,” Schiller said, referring to the Android tablet. “The entire Android product is thicker and heavier.” Not to mention that they have no apps beyond upscaled phone apps and random “marketplaces” full of malware.

Amidst a raft of analysts who don’t, Janney analyst Bill Choi gets it, writing, “We don’t think Apple needs to compete aggressively on price against mini-tablets from Android; Apple continues to sell a premium product in the fast growing tablet market at premium price points.”

Listen, if you can’t afford an iPad mini, you’re not in the target market. Stop whining. Nobody cares. Developers aren’t interested in those who can’t muster at least $329 for iPad mini. Neither are advertisers. Neither is Apple, who are running a business, not a charity. If you want an iPad mini, but you can’t afford it, either save up for one or trot on over to Costco and settle for a cheesy, plastic, tiny screen pretend iPad mini and all that doesn’t go with it. The choice is yours. It’s like an IQ test.

So, to recap: With iPad mini, nothing has changed. Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers and, when all is said and done, they will sell hundreds of millions of iPad mini units worldwide.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

117 Comments

    1. Whoa…

      A comment from SteveJack.

      This must be a momentous occasion to draw you out from your hole to comment.

      Love the: ‘Apple, who are running a business, not a charity.’ comment.

      “If you want an iPad mini, but you can’t afford it, either save up for one or trot on over to Costco and settle for a cheesy, plastic, tiny screen pretend iPad mini and all that doesn’t go with it. The choice is yours. It’s like an IQ test.”

      Delicious.

      1. Exactly! I wrote (here) before the release of the mini, that I didn’t want a $199 mini iPad that was a plastic peice of crap like the nexus & galaxy with an  logo on it (running iOS). I wanted the same stunning quality, attention to detail, aluminum case, and premium electronics (faster and longer battery life) that Apple has in it’s other products.

        The people who want a $200 mini tablet, should buy it (and suffer) We apple fans wanted (and got) a REAL iPad, only a bit smaller and are more than willing to pay a small premium over poorly functioning plastic garbage like the google tablet or the kindle fire.

    2. Yup is right, heck I’m happy it wasn’t priced at $350. I was looking for a connector cord the other day and a tech sales person told me that he had it or could order it no matter what it was but I should bring in my portable just to make sure it fit. When I brought in my G4 Mac, he could not believe it. Then I told him that the machine still ran one the latest OSX operating systems, and the latest web browser. He took a look at the connector and his reply was… oh never seen anything like that, you’ll have to go to an Apple store.

      They just don’t get it, computers don’t have to be disposable pieces of stuff that get opened up every weekend by the lads over a few beers to upgrade the sound card, the hard drive, the RAM, the video card so they can play games.

      The price is great.

      1. Considering the build quality, the price is definitely in line. It’s not going to be duplicated by a $199 tablet.

        Wall Street doesn’t seem to value quality or customer support when both factors contribute to gaining repeat customers year after year.

        I just don’t get a group of people that don’t value craftsmanship but prefer for companies to put out low quality devices to consumers. I was never taught that way growing up. We aspired to owning and producing higher quality products. It’s fine that Google and Amazon produce cheaper products, but that’s no reason to punish Apple for trying to reach more discerning consumers.

        1. Thanks for your reply, and your insight. I appreciate, as you indicate, the value of craftsmanship (craftspersonship for those that want to be politically correct, or craftslifeship for those that want to be polytickally correct).

          However, I also believe that there is a place for so called cheap products. For example I have a great pair of hiking boots, that cost me a premium price, they have lasted me for years and I use them when appropriate. I don’t mind buying some low budget shoes that will last only a year if I am lucky, as I will use them to trash around in puddles and mud without worry about them.

          When it comes to computers, I want the best, and Apple, since the beginning has been a company where the software people talk to the hardware people. It makes for elegance of design in both their computers and the software interface, which gives me a competitive edge. Now if I were into computer gamin or tinkering, yup, I’d probably consider a Windoze computer but I’m not.

          Wall street does not see this, as you pointed out. Fortunately they can only hold the stock back so much, and over the long term their attempts have been and will continue to be futile.

          1. @Road Warrior

            You are so correct. Wall Street does not get it. They only look at the absolutes without looking at the imagination behind the products. “What is it – instead of what could it be” They are so stupid. Let them eat cake.

        2. “Considering the build quality, the price is definitely in line. It’s not going to be duplicated by a $199 tablet.”

          It’s funny how the only people who don’t seem to recognize the value of build quality are the financial analysts. The ever growing numbers of Apple customers do. There are cheaper options for every product Apple makes.

    3. I don’t get some of the stupid comments on this forum. Apple is for the wealthy or weath-impersonators. The other plastic products are for the poor peeple. If I want to pay too much for aluminum and glass, that is my business and no one elses. So stop the bitching! I would have paid $499!! Take that ot the bank…

    4. cheap plastic? know what else is made from ” cheap plastic ? high end aircraft parts and high impact sports equipment. polycarbonate is one of the most durable and versatile man made products ever known, and is stronger than a lot of maluable alloy metals, whch i might add are used to make soda cans. you apple people crack me up. btw im not a fanboy. i work in the “cheap plastic” industry.

    1. AppleInsider is reporting that one of the two suppliers for the iPad mini screen is having production problems (Apple chose not to use Samsung as a supplier ). Effectively leaving Apple with one supplier. Meaning that they will be far short of being able to supply enough minis. If this is true look out below because that stock price is going straight down. And I’m an investor so I hope not. But that’s all Apple needs now with things not necessarily going their way lately. We should find out sometime Wednesday how accurate this report is. Geez! And earnings is Thursday. Oh boy! This could turn out to be a really rough week. Surprised MDN hasn’t reproduced this story? It came out Wednesday at 1:49 PM.

      1. Unsubstantiated rumours are what drives the Stock Market to make short duration swings. APPL is a favourite. I’m not saying it isn’t true, I’m only saying that APPL is for folks who are comfortable with long term investments, or for people who can monitor it constantly and even perhaps understand it. In the final analysis, the question to be asked is: “Is the company making money?”

        1. i’ve been investing in Wall Street for decades. There isn’t much that I haven’t seen and all that time. I think I certainly understand how the stock market works by now. The stock market moves on rumors but also moves on facts. Never assume that because someone points out something factual about your favorite company that it’s not true. Never become attached to your investment. First rule investing, never fall in love with your stock.

    2. I’ll never understand how Wall Street doesn’t understand the connection between price and profits. If they’re unhappy that the price of the iPad Mini is too high, then why are they even more upset when Apple’s profits fall a couple of percentage points on a product line. There’s no other way to keep profits high if the company is already lean on component pricing and assembly. Apple must charge more, especially if the build quality is kept at a higher standard which reviewers of the iPad Mini said was so.

    1. Apple invented the category. They control supply. It costs Sony more to make plus they still feel their name justifies a premium

      Ultra books aren’t making the sales originally anticipated because they can’t make good stuff at Apple prices. So you get expesive meh.

    1. You can spend $30 on parking these days.

      Hey you can easily spend $329 taking your cat to the vet.

      $329 for a full-fledged computer you can hold in one hand is cheap. The thing has more processing power than my last desktop Mac, and more pixels than my old iBook.

        1. Problem is, if Apple had priced it at $299, people would be complaining it wasn’t $149.

          I think people would complain even if Apple gave the iPad mini away.

          I’m getting one, my Uncle is getting one (as a present for my Auntie’s 70th birthday) and my brothers are both getting one. It’s a bargain when you consider all the things it can do, and I understand the value of money.

      1. I think it depends where you live. I’m in NYC and everything just costs more so I’ve learned to accept it. You get in a taxi and ride to the airport and it’s almost $30 with tip. Even half-price tickets to a play cost $50. Maybe the people who are complaining live in the midwest or in some boondocks where $30 is their weekly rent or food allowance. I don’t know.

        1. Not complaining in the midwest; I’ll order my Mini on Friday. In May I replaced my 2006 15″ MBP with a 13″ MBP. Now the spousal unit has the 15″ MBP and uses it daily. Premium price indeed; Apple products are made better to last longer.

  1. In fairness to Amazon, their 7-inch Kindle HD has more pixels than the larger 7.9-inch iPad Mini. But, I think Mini’s aspect ratio is better for productive uses.

    1. not saying the Kindle HD’s screen is worse but until experts can do a side by side comparison I’ll reserve judgement…

      all screen pixels (like camera megapixels) is not equal…

    2. What?
      They are nearly the same pixel count (1024X768 vs 1024X800) and the apple screen is larger, brighter, sharper more saturated (wider gamut) and higher contrast.

      In what alternate reality do you live?

      The kindle fire is for people who want things cheap and are willing to sacrifice quality and usability to that end.
      The iPad is for those who want the ultimate in performance and usability and are willing to give a little on price.

      You decide which fits your personal definition of value, but don’t even try to play off the kindle’s (second rate) screen as better.

      1. its ignorant morons like you that i cannot stand and actually get a rush thinking and knowing that you have something over them by whaqt youve merely have no clue of just what your told or seen …NEWS FLASH sheep ,who i am and wha i do is of no concern ,but kee[ in mind that i am a designer in the feild and am currently ceo of top leading engerneeirng co. for apple adn amazon and others and they are the same in fact the kindle has a better aspect ratio and saturated freeware inside…i should know i helped design it …anyway the ios for the pads of apple are just built to be and look more sharper apple didnot want to install a better more expensive tech in it …..

    1. My friend has a job that takes him into low income houses. He’s often amazed that families on Public Assistance have a lot of expensive tech stuff in them. Huge TV’s, they all have cell phones, nice cars, etc. Why work and spoil it all?

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