The Apple iPad certainly isn’t cheap. In fact, it isn’t even affordable for many consumers. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook has moved to defend the pricing of the company’s tablets, and his words suggest Apple will never seek to undercut the competition.
Cook’s defence comes as a result of the iPad Mini being more expensive than many were hoping it would be. There were calls from both hopeful consumers and desperate investors for Apple to pitch the iPad Mini at lower than $199, but in the end it was handed a $329 price tag… which is too high to draw in mainstream consumers on a tight budget.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Cook stated:
“A great product doesn’t mean an expensive product. It means a fair price. The iPad mini is all the way down to $329. This isn’t an expensive product. What we wouldn’t do is say, ‘We’ve got to have something for this price, and then let’s see what we can do for it’.”
$329 may not be expensive for the likes of Cook, or even the average Apple fanboy, but it is a price that puts the device out of reach of a fair portion of the population. However, Cook’s second line about not making an effort to hit a particular price point suggests Apple isn’t going to change strategy any time soon.
In some ways this could be seen as a barbed comment against Google and Amazon, both of which are clearly aiming their tablets at the lower end of the market. Sure, hitting a lower price point does mean making some compromises, but both the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are fine tablets gaining positive reviews. It isn’t as though either company is offering up trash and hoping people make do.
The big problem facing not only Apple but all tablet manufacturers is that tablets are still seen as a luxury item rather than a necessity. And this means price is an important deciding factor. Until tablets are legitimate replacements for desktops and laptops — and that day is approaching fast — it’s hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a product you may never use.