iPad and iPad mini: As Google and Amazon fight up, Apple refuses to fight down

“After this past week’s Apple event, one thing stood out to me above all others. And just to make sure, I watched the event again. Same result,” MG Siegler writes for TechCrunch. “The shots fired at Android tablets.”

“For everything that Apple announced (new MacBook Pros, Mac minis, iMacs, iPads, and iPad minis), this was what I walked away thinking about. It was a fascinating look into the collective mind of Apple,” Siegler writes. “In realtime, this seemed straightforward: Apple was trying to explain why their tablets were better than those made by the competition. Standard practice, right? But something about it stuck in my head as weird for Apple — especially once the price was revealed.”

“In the tablet space, Apple is without question the dominant player. By even acknowledging the competition, it’s a form of validation. Put another way: you should always fight up, not down. But here, Apple appeared to be fighting down,” Siegler writes. “But after the second watching of the keynote, my interpretation is slightly different. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one. I believe Apple was simply explaining to everyone that they were not going to fight down.”

Siegler writes, “In Apple’s mind, they’re not trying to compete in the 7-inch tablet space, they’re simply trying to expand the user base of the iPad with a smaller version. Again, subtle, but different. Apple is not going to make a $199 tablet — and certainly not out of fear. They’re going to make the best smaller tablet they can and price in a way they believe to be fair for the quality they’re going after.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple Pad mini – all models – sold out in three days – October 29, 2012


  1. I love how people go after Apple on what I think is fair pricing and making a profit on the device, when their competition are giving their’s away. Kinda two different corporate mindsets and philosophies that cheap & clueless Fandroid & Fanazons don’t seem to understand or appreciate the difference.

      1. Resale value for most computer and personal electronics gear is really irrelevant, especially from Apple’s perspective. It is difficult to get a good price from something you have owned and used for a year or more, and with the at which speed devices improve, your older model is quickly significantly outdated. Apple’s iDevices hold their value better than other devices, but the drop is still precipitous.

        The more important measuring stick is longevity, and Apple soundly trumps the competition here. My iPhone 3GS are asking to be updated to iOS 6, while Android phones just a few months old can’t upgrade to the latest Android OS because the phone manufacturer doesn’t want to release the update (they want to sell you a new handset, not provide software).

        1. Older products are not irrelevant or lacking in value. I read somewhere that Apple was among many organisations offering to buy used iPhone 4S models.
          In my experience as a multi-decade Apple product user, almost all products have a worthwhile residual value after even 4 years, certainly after 2 or 3. When I say ‘worthwhile’ I mean in its own terms as well as in comparison to resale values for products from other manufacturers.
          On longevity, I wholly agree but this is another reason for the enhanced residual values – the damn things stay useful and usable for a very long time – especially given the OS upgrade path.

      2. … important when what you want is not “a working model” so much as “the latest working model”. I’m not saying the latest Android is in any way superior to a recent iOS, just that Apple products can be ANNOYINGLY long-lived. My wife has almost got the hang of her iPad2. That’s how long we’ve had it! Time for a new one, right? Who can we give it to?The grands all have better, already. A $199 bargain would have had the good graces to DIE already, giving us the stimulus to upgrade. 😉

        1. Why do you need to upgrade an iPad2? It can still run all the apps, and well. I’m still using an original iPad, because the damn thing just keeps doing it’s job… I think I’d like to be able to update iOS to the latest version, but up until iOS 6, I could still use the latest version of iOS 5. I’d probably be happy with an iPad2 for another couple years, as long as I kept my Mac up to date…

          I guess I should offer to take your iPad2, since you don’t know anyone to give it to… I’ll take it… ! 😉

  2. They are entering a smaller tablet market so it makes sense to explain how the mini is worth getting compared to the cheap crap out. This is certainly normal for even apple. Remember the I’m a Mac commercial?

  3. What I don’t understand is how every one will make an issue of Apple’s prices, yet, we all know that Apple is a premium brand. With that said, not everyone can afford a Rolls Royce, its a premium brand, and regardless of what the true cost of manufacturing a Rolls Royce, people either buy one or not depending on whether they can afford it or not. The same true of Louis Vuitton handbags or any other designer items. You buy a brand based on real or perceived quality, and based on your personal spending ability.

    Apple is no different, who would really want a Rolls Royce at $15,000 USD? I’m sure a lot would, but it is not going to happen. Same with Apple. the iPad, iPhone, & iPad mini. if I wanted a cheap tablet, I’d go with something cheaper and suffer the consequences, if I want quality, longevity, and premium components, I’ll buy Apple products.

    1. While I understand your analogy, it’s not really appropriate because Apple isn’t really a “premium” brand just for the sake of throwing in luxuries just to be considered premium, and therefore demand a higher price.

      I would say that Apple is a high-quality brand, a company which does not compromise its customers’ experiences simply for the sake of shaving a few bucks off the price. This is apparent in the materials used (aluminum vs. plastic for example) and the lengths Apple goes to in manufacturing complexities to create a thinner, lighter device. But quality costs money, aluminum costs more than molded plastic, but people appreciate the product and understand the differences.

      1. In truth, Apple is a premium brand, but not like Rolls Royce. Apple is a premium brand in terms of quality and utility offered at a competitive price via economy of scale manufacturing. The key is that competitors offering comparable devices will be hard-pressed to profitably match Apple’s current product pricing.

        Apple is somewhat akin to Sony back in the late-1980s and early 1990s. You knew that you were paying a little more for a Sony Trinitron monitor, for instance, but you were willing to do that because you were confident in the quality of the product that you were getting. Back in those days, the accepted wisdom was that you “couldn’t go wrong with Sony.” Times have changed, of course, and that analogy is not a perfect one by any means. Apple, for instance, brings a whole ecosystem to the table rather than just individual products like a monitor. But the idea of quality and value is much the same.

    2. The problem is the device itself.
      Apple compared it to an ipad 2 while the 4th Gen Ipad is 4 times better that the Ipad 2.

      The price difference between the 2 is too small to be a logical purchase when comparing usage/technology and size…

    3. … happen to have the fuel economy and cargo capacity of my Mazda i3 HB? Maybe I would, at a similar price point. But, good acceleration and better handling are rare on cars in this class. “This” being a) 40 MPG highway, c) small-wagon capacity.
      I’m not saying the M i3 HB is the best choice for everyone … different strokes and all that … but that Royce has a high benchmark to insert it’s “quality” into.
      The PC brands have a good balance, as well. Half the price for half the expected life (and >twice the expected problems?). It isn’t just about the money. Usually.

  4. I know a guy who always buys “cheap.” Has an Android tablet. Outspoken about the low price. Never mentions quality.

    Every time I break out my iPad, his forehead gets shiny with defensive inner turmoil.

    I pull it out whenever I can.

    1. I’ve said it before, but it’s appropriate here again:
      Spend too much and you regret it once. Spend too little and you regret it every day.

      And at only $330, for a computer you’ll use every day for years, regret isn’t even the word I’d use.

        1. Spend too little and you’ll end up having to spend again to get what you really wanted …..

          In the long run you end up spending almost double …..

          In our trade, we say ….. The most expensive work, is rework!

    1. Apple already does dominate in the tablet computer market. They created it, and do it better than anyone else. Quality control and customer services would be the problem with going for the low price/low margin market, and “total” market share as a goal (think India, China, Indonesia, etc…) why be GM when you can be BMW! I love Apple, have since the beginning, but a world where Apple was all you got to pick from would be too reminiscent of the days when M$ was a near monopoly. And M$ didn’t have to manufacture all the hardware. The sheer scale of one manufacturer owning all the market share is almost too daunting. With the little fish nibbling at the crumbs of a market Apple invented, it allows Apple to then invent the next big thing, the next market, and do it all over again.

  5. Quality over quantity is the best way to do business. We’re not talking about Whole Foods where $330 will only last a couple of weeks (I can see where someone wouldn’t want to spend $660 every month). Apple products are designed to be useful for a great deal of time. That said, I’m sttanding in line for early voting. Left iPad in car just in case line was long. If I already had my iPad mini, this wouldn’t be an issue.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.