Apple fans have been disappointed that the iPad mini cost $329, while other 7-inch tablets cost significantly less. Phil Schiller defended the price saying consumers will pay for a quality product. He’s right. Apple’s going to sell a gazillion iPad minis, but the reason for it’s higher price tag might have a lot more to do with problems manufacturing the touch screen.
According to Digitimes, Apple’s $329 price tag for the iPad mini is largely due to low yield rates for the device’s GF2 (DITO film) touch screen technology.
“Sources said the DITO film sensor is having mass production issues, which has been a big contributor to why the device is approximately 40-50% more expensive compared to other 7-inch tablets that have OGS or G/G structures.”
Digitimes does have a questionable track record with Apple rumors so this might not be the real reason why the iPad mini costs $329. However, according to Digitimes’ sources, the GF2 screens of the iPad mini are only $5 cheaper that those on the 9.7-inch model iPads. The lower margins on the iPad mini could explain why Apple was forced to price the iPad mini a bit higher than expected.
In their report Digitimes also claims that the iPad 2 will be on sale till at least the end of the first quarter of 2013, thanks to the device maintaining steady sales.