Amazon's revamped Kindle lineup is failing. We T-GAAP-ers figured this would be the case, but it's about to show up in spades this December quarter. The WSJ is reporting Apple has ordered 10 million iPad mini's from their contract manufacturing partner/s, double that of Kindle Fire HD orders.
Amazon is banking heavily that their Kindle Fire HD $199 hook price will deliver volume sales, but that's highly unlikely to materialize. Apple has shown little interest in playing to the lowest common denominator market, and is likely to deliver the iPad mini at $399, while the older iPad 2 stays in the lineup at the same price point until year's end to deliver more consumer choice.
Apple delivered a big hint as to the the mini pricing during the September iPhone and iPod event, when Apple iOS Marketing Chief, Greg Joswiak, revealed the iPod touch starting at $299. The $299 iPod touch leaves no room for the iPad mini to do the same. Apple is making a very deliberate decision to keep their hardware pricing consistent across the board, while letting it's competition give away low-end tablets, with the bet they'll make it up with content sales.
Many in the media are likely to balk at the $399 price point, but the product will be far superior to what is in the mini tablet space in every way. Construction, design, screen, cameras, speed, OS and apps, the iPad mini will truly have everything for those wanting less than a full-sized tablet experience in iPad or a lower price point.
Come January Apple will set the full sized tablet market on fire, with a dramatically revamped 10" iPad, setting the course of the tablet market firmly on it's own tracks.
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