The iPad Mini's pricing, like its heavily-leaked specifications and appearance, aren't a surprise. The 16GB Wifi-only model will cost just £269. This is £60 less than the 16GB iPad 2 and £130 less than the new 16GB iPad 4.
What is surprising is that whereas Apple is currently unrivalled when it comes to larger 10in tablets, the Californian company is facing intense competition when it comes to cheaper, smaller tablets. The 16GB Asus Nexus 7 costs just £199 and the upcoming 32GB Amazon Kindle Fire HD will cost around £200. Current rumours suggest that Asus might replace the 16GB Nexus 7 with a 32GB model at the same price, plus the maligned Blackberry Playbook is available at a knock down price of £129 for the 64GB model.
Apple has never shied away from pricing its products more than the competition. It will doubtless argue that the sturdier metal build of the iPad Mini and the huge number and broad range of tablet-optimised apps in its App Store outweigh the cheaper plastic cases and far more limited selection of Android tablet apps. The Android opposition will cite lower prices and more flexibility from built-in hardware features such as SD card slots to the ability to fiddle with the operating system to your heart's content.
Despite the recession major companies such as Apple, Google, Asus and Samsung are investing huge amounts of money and time into launching new tablets and for several good reasons.
Although some Computeractive readers will turn their noses up at tablets, for many people they are are an easier, less fussy and often a cheaper alternative to a traditional desktop or laptop PC for performing many everyday computing tasks. Tablets can handle web browsing, video chats, watching video and even more creative tasks, such as editing photos, with ease.
If lots of customers will soon be doing the majority of their computing on a tablet, then any company that doesn't have a tablet will be in serious long-term trouble. Choosing a tablet and sticking with it means you're more likely to remain loyal with that manufacturer and/or operating system. Once you've bought a few apps, rented or bought a few movies and invested in cases and speaker docks then you're more likely to upgrade to the next model of that particular tablet and perhaps even buy an accompanying smartphone or laptop from the same manufacturer.
It's therefore no surprise that the various competing tablet manufacturers are trying their hardest to convince you to buy their tablet and not someone else's - they don't just want your £200 or £300 now, but all the potential money you'll spend on tech in the future. All the big names are competing fiercely for your tablet custom because their potential futures are at stake.
The question now is whether the iPad Mini will be popular enough to help Apple maintain its stranglehold on the tablet market, or whether the Android competition has finally found a chink in Apple's market dominance.
A new home for the Caps Lock Alert program
Hosting the files for the Caps Lock Alert program on Dropbox wasn't really working. Not least because...
Gmail users: The dot in your email address is irrelevant
For the last few months I've been getting someone else's emails. Recently I received an invitation to...
Minecraft comes to the Raspberry Pi
Great news for all Raspberry Pi owners, especially those hoping to keep their children interesting in...
The broken promise of smart TVs
Smart TVs, or internet-connected TVs as they should really be called, were supposed to make watching...
Updating your subscription status