Apple did have a big day yesterday as they did in fact, “have a lot to cover” (full event here). You will not have to search far or wide to find to review today somewhere in the blogosphere (what the analysts are saying here). I was happy to see an iPad Mini w/Retina screen. Changing the iPad branding to “Air” was unexpected, but overall, we did not see a new product line debut. Sometime in the near future (i.e., 12 to 18 months), we’re going to need to see something truly new from the executives in Cupertino.
That said, it is time for me to eat some of my own “Claim Chowder.” Claim chowder is when you eat your words (nod to John Gruber for coining the term). Yesterday in the presentation, right after CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple sold 170 million iPads in 3 ½ years, he threw up some 2010 claim chowder from journalists such as, “It’s not going to revolutionize anything, it’s not going to replace netbooks” OR “Anyone who thinks it’s a game changer is a tool.”
Exactly at this time last year, I said, “Apple messed up the pricing” as I thought $329 was way too high. In a later post, I tried to see it more from Apple’s perspective and gave a number of reasons, (i.e., R & D costs, supply chain constrains, a new form factor, etc) to why Apple priced the Mini where they did. However, the Claim Chowder did not stop there. In the same post, I later said, “Mark my words, the price of the Mini will drop by this time next year – either $279 or $299.” I guess I thought I was going to be hungry in October 2013.
The only thing is truly said right last year was the axiom “You price what the market will bear.” Although Apple does not break out sales of the larger iPad from the Mini, we know that the Mini sold very well in the past 12 months. Moreover, competition is nowhere close to offering the quality – nor the free software (please don’t underestimate this folks, all that updated new iLife and iWorks software is a BIG BIG deal) making the Mini a fine package. I’m not saying it’s the cheapest package, but Car and Driver magazine has been calling the BMW 3-Series one of their “10 Best” for 22 straight years – if you want the best, you going to have to pay for it.
Something to think about today…
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University