October 15, 2012, 4:33 PM — Claims by a German website that Apple will price the iPad Mini starting at [euro]249 were met today with skepticism by an analyst who two months ago projected the opening price would be $299 in the U.S.
In a screenshot published by the German website MobileGeeks, prices for the iPad Mini begin at [euro]249, and top out at [euro]649. The screenshot purportedly is from the inventory system of Media Markt, Europe's largest electronics retail chain.
Apple typically keeps dollar and euro pricing closely in sync -- the least-expensive iPad, for example, is priced at $499 in the U.S., [euro]479 in Germany and [euro]489 in France -- which by the Media Markt screen would put the starting U.S. price around $249.
[Apple's prices are inclusive of taxes in some countries, particularly where a VAT, or "value-added tax," is applied. In Germany, for example, the VAT is 19%, and already included in the [euro]479 starting price of an iPad.]
But one analyst was a little leery of a price of $249.
Sameer Singh, the founder of Tech-Thoughts, and in his day job, an analyst with Finvista Advisors, an India-based mergers and acquisitions consulting group, in August predicted a $299 starting price for the iPad Mini based on a preliminary -- and sight-unseen -- estimate of the tablet's BOM, or "bill of materials."
He stuck by the $299 price point today -- based on a materials and manufacturing total of $189 for an 8GB model -- but acknowledged he was weakening.
"I still think a starting price of $299 is more likely, but I'm less certain than I was before," Singh said in an email reply to questions Monday, after seeing the MobileGeeks blog post. "It really depends on how Apple views the competitive dynamics in the industry. If Apple sees the [Google] Nexus 7 and the [Amazon] Kindle Fire as major threats, they could get more aggressive with a $249 price."
Singh was also dubious because of the 16 different configurations cited in the screen shot, which included black and white Wi-Fi models in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage sizes; and the same four storage options for an iPad able to connect to a cellular data network.