Apple’s(s aapl) iPad Mini has yet to be announced, but the device is reportedly appearing in a consumer electronics retail inventory system, complete with model and pricing information. The MobileGeeks site has a picture of the system, depicting various capacities and wireless capabilities with pricing starting at 249 Euros (US $322.60) for an 8 GB iPad Mini with Wi-Fi only.
According to MobileGeek’s source, the inventory screen cap is from systems used by Media Market / Saturn; a retail group with 70,000 employees that operates stores in 18 European and Asian markets. Reported capacities for the iPad Mini will be in 8-, 16- 32- and 64 GB models with Wi-Fi and each will also be available with integrated cellular radios, making for 8 different configurations.
We won’t know for sure if this pricing is accurate until Apple introduces the product, of course. But the prices sound reasonable; especially you translate the Euros directly to US dollars instead of converting them — a common practice. In fact, earlier today when recording our weekly podcast, I speculated that a 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad Mini would be priced at $349; the exact same amount in Euros that MobileGeeks has found.
The new iPod touch — which I bought and think is superb — priced at $299 may have provided some iPad Mini pricing insight. Apple wouldn’t likely have the iPod touch compete directly with a small iPad and if this pricing hold true, it isn’t. My 32 GB iPod touch cost $299 and the same capacity for an iPad Mini appears to be $449; a difference large enough that keeps the two from competing on price, for example.
At $249 for an 8 GB model, some will note that the same storage capacity on a Nexus 7(s goog) or Kindle Fire HD(s amzn) is $50 less. That’s true and it fits with Apple’s ability to get a premium price from those wanting to use its ecosystem of apps and media. In other words, I could easily see people spend the extra $50 for a Mini iPad over Android competitors.
We also know that an 8GB Nexus 7 costs roughly $152 in parts and production. An 8 GB iPad Mini with Wi-Fi would likely cost a similar amount and at $249, that gives Apple a 38.6 percent profit margin on the low model with even higher margins on the other models. Based on that, I suspect these prices are legitimate, although they could just be placeholders. At the very least, they certainly make sense to me.