Steve Streza thinks it’s a confusing price:
The $329 base price point, however, is a strange and awkward place to start the lineup. Not only is this $130 more expensive than the Nexus 7, it misses the psychological barrier of getting under $300. This propagates through the upgraded models as well, and causing a weird staggering effect. In fact, adding in the iPad 2’s and the iPad 4’s price points, we get this pricing chart of 13 prices spread out over 14 models.
Phil Schiller says it’s because people were already picking the iPad 2 over the cheaper tablets:
“The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we’ve made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices,” Schiller said.
Dan Frommer says that it just is:
Apple is going to sell out of its Christmas 2012 supply of iPad minis no matter how much it costs — $329, $200, whatever. Why leave money on the table? If it can sell 100% of its iPad mini supply for more than $329, why bother selling any to people who would only buy it for less than $329? (Also, this helps preserve Apple’s margins.)
And I said:
It’s $130 to upgrade from a generic plastic tablet to the name-brand premium iPad. I’m willing to bet that most people won’t hesitate. Apple wants to compete in the small tablet market, not the cheap tablet market.
It’s $329 because Apple can price it at $329 and still sell them as fast as they can make them.