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With the iPad mini the Apple tax is back, but this time it’s justified


Did the iPad mini really debut today? I could have sworn it had already been announced.

As expected, it has a 7.9-inch screen (though we all thought it would be 7.85-inches… go figure) with a 1024×768 resolution screen, for a very non-Retina 163ppi pixel density. Inside we have the seemingly ancient dual-core A5 chip that debuted a year ago in the iPhone 4S. While we haven’t been told RAM count, we wouldn’t be surprised to see 512MB.

The iPad mini is also thin, at 7.2mm, and its profile barely overshadows that of the Nexus 7 despite a sizeably smaller screen. It’s made of aluminum and glass, a noteable improvement over the immediate competition. Phil Schiller even compared the iPad mini directly to Google’s top dog, the Nexus 7, in his keynote address.

And how much is the iPad mini? Forget $199 — forget even $299. For Apple’s “every inch an iPad,” you’re paying a minimum of $329. Next week Google is likely going to announce that it is doing away with its 8GB Nexus 7, lowering its 16GB version to $199 ($209CDN). To many Canadians that $120 could be better spent elsewhere. To many Canadians, the $329 entry level for the iPad mini will be considered an “Apple tax.”

Looking at it head-on, the iPad mini doesn’t immediately scream value. Its price is out of the range of the entry-level tablet buyer and is too close to the $499 price of the Retina iPad to be considered a “discount” product. Canadians have plenty of choice in that department, from the $209 Nexus 7 to a bevy of full-sized Android slates for under $400. If it’s discount you want, it’s easy enough to find.

But Schiller wasn’t wrong in pointing out the disparity between Apple’s ecosystem and its closest competitor, especially in the tablet space. While Android itself may be iterating at a constant clip, with plenty of fantastic smartphones compatible with myriad apps designed for various sub-5″ form factors, the same can’t be said for tablets. While there are 275,000 iPad-compatible apps, all of which will run without modification on the iPad mini, there are only a handful of Android tablet apps that have been adapted with care. Before this incites the ire of every Android fan, I’m not saying there are no good Android tablet apps — just look at Netflix, StumbleUpon, Pulse Reader, TED and quite a few others — but there aren’t many. And despite Google’s continued support of the tablet community, releasing a Tablet App Quality Checklist, the financial impetus for developers just isn’t there.

There’s another reason to pay for the Apple tax this time: content. Canadians know the limitations of Google’s and Amazon’s ecosystems all too well: one cannot purchase a movie, subscribe to a magazine or pay for digital music directly from either company. For that you have to go through disparate providers such as Cineplex, Zinio or 7Digital respectively. OEMs are also doing their part to fill the gaps for Canadians; Sony offers both its Music and Video Unlimited services on its tablets. And while these are perfectly reasonable places to procure such content, they’re not central, a theme that Apple has proven again and again works so well.

And until Google or Amazon offers its full range of content to Canadians, Apple will continue to be the place to pay for digital stuff. This includes the latest apps, the newest games and the best content. There are thousands of Canadians who are, and will continue to be, willing to forgo the immediacy of this content to avoid being locked into Apple’s ecosystem. After all, much of it is inaccessible from anywhere but an Apple product.

But many more Canadians have, and will continue to be, happy to buy into the same centralized ecosystem. The $329 entry price of the iPad mini proves that Apple is content not to sell and market a discount iPad, but a smaller iPad that can do everything its more expensive peers can do. That is today’s Apple tax.

  • Acco

    A costly tax, but one that many Canadians will likely pay, just because of the Apple PR machine… and the lack of an equivalent Google/Asus PR machine.

    • phreezerburn

      Hasn’t been out a day and Apple’s own industry news is “shortages” because of the super special screen. They’re already trying to spin people into rush buying because they’ll be “hard to find”. If they could say it cured cancer, there wouldn’t be any room on the box for their logo.

  • Is this Bb10?

    It is never ever worth paying the apple tax.
    Only a 300dpi display will do. This is an expensive fail.

    • Kostas Kritsilas

      So, by that metric, every tablet aside from the iPad 3 and the Tranformer Prime are all fails. Every single one of them, including the Nexus 7? including every Andriod phone previous to the GSIII and the HTC One X? Get a life. >70% of all avaialbe devices are less than 300 ppi. People never had an issue with displya resolution before the magical “Retina” display of the iPhone 4 (the first >300 ppi display available), and most still don’t. I would like to see how many people have complained about the Nexus 7′s display, and it is quite a bit below your 300 ppi markt that you define as a fail.

      At this much lower price point, it isn’t possible with the current parts cost to make a $329 unit with 300 ppi. In a few years, probably. Right now, no.

      Kostas

  • DK

    Pretty much spot on – especially in regards to the content situation. Hard to believe I still can’t buy music or (to a lesser extent) magazines from Google here yet.

    • Doug

      Agreed. Amazon and Google both promote themselves as global companies but yet have done little to extend their content beyond the US.

    • Tom

      You guys have it backwards on content – that is Android’s strength.

      Google does not have the 30% tax that Apple extracts from competing content providers. 30% is huge to content providers.

      That means that Android is a great platform for competing content providers. If Google’s services are not available there are lots of others. For books I use Amazon, for music I use RDIO, etc.

      How can you label this a weakness of Android?

    • Rio

      Because there are a TON more apps in the Apple App store when compared to Google. Also go compare any Android app to its iOS counter part and you will see the quality difference.

  • monsterduc1000

    iCrap mini is Terrible. Can’t wait for the Nexus 10!!!

  • jonny

    justified?!? what a laugh.

    crappier screen
    slower processor
    probably half as much ram
    less battery life (apple only stated battery hours, not video watching hours – which is always much less than the non-video watching hours)
    no nfc
    no usb or micro hdmi
    you are very limited to your movie watching capabilities

    the ipad mini is probably the most embarassing product that Apple has released.

    the ONLY positive is that they say they have a lot of apps. their number is suspect tho, because there was no official announcement before, so developers could not have told Apple their apps were ready to go, so Apple probably took a quick glance at each app and gave it a “yes” or “no” for compatibility. Actual use will probably make a number of apps move over to the “no” category.

    • KM

      It’s an iPad 2 with a scaled down screen. Everything that runs on iPad 2 will run the same on the mini. The only apps that could have issues are ones that already have tiny touch targets on a 10″ screen, but that’s a usability issue, not a compatibility issue.

    • phreezerburn

      And “usability” has been Apple’s pitch for how long now?

  • Anish

    Where in the article did you explain how a $120 is justified? It has less resolution, a worse processor, and forces you into the locked iOS environment.

    This is the typical 30-40% markup we expect from Apple. In this case they may be cannibalizing their 10″ tablets, but not driving people away from the better value $199 tablets.

  • Tomatoes

    Apple gets too much credit for their warranty and customer service tax. They basically add the price of a warranty or insurance in the retail pricing without giving the customer a choice and then take credit for providing an outstanding warranty that is already covered by the Apple tax.

    Anyways, it seems like Apple has been making some major mistakes lately. The iphone 5 is too narrow and should have been shorter and fatter at 4:3 to maximize web browsing reading. Since the whole point of 4:3 is so that text on a small 4 inch screen or smaller is as big as text on a 16:9 4.7 inch screen. Worked for the 4 and 4s.

    While the ipad mini is already plenty big enough for 16:9 and as you can see from the Note 2, 16:9 works much better than 15:10 on screens bigger than 5 inches.

    So the iphone 5 should have been 4:3 and with a squatter resolution while the ipad mini should be a taller and skinnier 16:9 for better handling and pocketability.

    Instead the iphone 5 uses the 4 inches extremely poorly and the ipad mini is almost as fat as a hard cover book rather than mimicking a paperback novel shape like it should be doing like the rest if the 7 inch tablets and ereaders.

    Backwards much? The ipad mini should use the weird resolution while the iphone 5 should have been wider. Steve Jobs might have caught this glaring error.

    • IciOnParleFrancais

      I disagree – if there is one thing that Apple does well it is customer service. I had an iPhone4 that fell into a swimming pool. I took it to an Apple store and 15 minutes later I walked out with a new phone for free. Where would I go if this happened to my Blackberry? Rogers?

    • phreezerburn

      Apple does such without having bought the “replacement” warranty? Since when?

  • nik

    steve jobs: we will never make a smaller ipad <- fken moron. i laugh at ppl buying apple's crap…its made in china and no its not made out of steal u i***t…samsung makes most of the parts anyway

  • InfinitiGuy

    Next…..

  • LeafsFan77

    Just a few things:
    How can Apple compare a 7.9″ tablet to a 7″?
    How can Apple compare $329 to an item $199?

    It’s not the same just like you don’t compare a iPhone 5 to a Galaxy Note.

    The 7″ tablets are for people that want 7″ tablets, not 9.7″ or 10″ or 7.9″ tablets.

    To close this off, I hope people that bought iPad 3′s are pissed that there is an iPad 4 6-months later and they feel screwed.

    • A

      Hey , for the record , I have a 3G iPad 2 and am still perfectly happy with it. I am not feeling the least bit pissed because I have been using it for 2 years and its still functional as opposed to not using anything and being forced to use a laptop all the time.

      Besides, for what mine is selling for, I can pay an additional 200 bucks and get a new one if I want (new iPad that is)

    • Dro

      @A, yes you are talkign about your old iPad 2. LeafsFan77 is talking about the new iPad 3… Don’t see the relevance here.

    • phreezerburn

      Actually they are but the fanboys from blogs like The Verge have told them to “suck it up”… Apple’s own line last time I looked was “no comment”.

  • Jeff

    This article is a joke right. Know one in the right mind would recommend buying the ipad period. Besides if you wait a month Apple will release the new(er) ipad mini with their new release schedule and all :p

  • TKG26

    to me its not mini enough… But they avoided the 7″ size because the knew that they would or could never offer it at 200$ or even 250$…. The went with 7.9″ to avoid having to justify its over price…..

    Its to large to be a mini and its price is to close to a full size ipad. The mini is hardly portable it huge… shoudl ahve gone with a 7″ size …

  • Phil

    Man people are really angry here…

    If people want to buy an iPad mini, let them… The problem in not what’s coming out in technology, it’s people freaking out about everything…

    If your level of hatred jumps up that much because any company comes out with any product, maybe it’s time to lay off the tech…

    • Steven

      If a company deliberatly overprices their products, then blatantly exploits peoples’ gullibility in order to move their units, then I’ll have something to say about it.

    • rravindras

      @Steven Why? It’s not really any of your concern and I doubt anybody wants you to “save” them. Maybe it’s time to get a life.

    • Glitch

      @Steven are you also a superhero who goes around tackling used car salesmen and insurance guys too? I heard a lot of people were getting taken advantage of by them. Better right those wrongs and leave some comments on their site protecting other consumers too.

      Because we all know, even though you’d never take advice from someone posting comments on MS (you’re smarter then them! You don’t need their advice, you can make your own decisions.) they’ll sure as hell listen to you and not purchase an Apple product ever again.

      God bless, and godspeed, sir. Please hear our cries and save us from the tyranny of Apple!

  • Henry

    The processor may be dated in technology advancement term but it is not considered anywhere slow when running iOS. Because? Apple controls the software and hardware so they have all the bells and whistle to make the software work exactly how they want it to run on the hardware.

    Also, the general public do not care what powers any tabelet as long as the product gets what they need to do and that meets their own expectation of speed. I own a Nexus 7 with Jellybean and it still doesn’t truely meet my expectation of fast, while my Galaxy S3 with duo-core feels snappy.

    At the end of the day. Apple is a company that needs to meet their investor sales expectation. A company, not just Apple but Samsung, LG, Sony, and others all try to get maximum profit. They are not charity to help customer get better with their life. They are here to make money and by not having the highest spec can bring their cost down. Just like Samsung Galaxy Note 2 priced at 729CAD while the whole selling point is the software interface coupled with the S3 spec in a bigger size

    • Sheepsix

      Stop that @Henry, there are no logical or even remotely reasonable statements allowed here. Just quit it!

  • Patrick

    Maybe you can’t buy a movie from Google, but you can rent it in Canada. You can buy books too. I had the first iPad. Now I am the proud owner of a Nexus 7 and I can’t be happier. All the music that I buy from iTunes plays on my Nexus 7.

  • mjolnir

    This is by far the worst I’ve read on mobilesyrup. Very disappointed; you might as well call this applesyrup.

  • ActivesiN

    justified….thats a good joke tell me another :)

    ill stick with my nexus 7
    quad core
    higher resolution

    ill take those over some fart apps anyday

    • Jack

      I too think iPad Mini is way overpriced.

      That said, I’ll ask the same question I’ve asked a few times whenever Galaxy Nexus users spout the quad core argument: What exactly has having a quad core device given you on a tablet that a dual core device has not?

      So far, I haven’t seen a single application that takes advantage of that power or something that the Google Nexus can physically do that iPad (or any other dual core tablet for that matter, including Android ones) can’t.

      It’s like they’re one-upping specs for the sake of it, without the killer use of said specs.

      I suppose it will be more future proof, but when I see “quad core” tablets and phones being bragged about, no one has any good practical real world advantage in use today.

  • beyond

    I’m sick of all this Apple hype. Apple is playing catch up now with its products unveiling features that have existed in competing products for months if not over a year and somehow it still ends up as front page news all over the net. And I don’t mean one article but multiple per site. I think the hype is unjustified imo, and has gone way beyond the actual technology at this point.

  • skdfjgdklsfj

    so for the extra $120 i go from…
    - tegra 3 quad core to last-gen dual core a5
    - 1 gb ram to (possibly) 512 mb ram
    - 1280 x 800 screen to 1024 x 768
    - jellybean to iOS 6

    no thanks.

  • roman

    Specs don’t mean much. They were able to make a dual core iphone outperform quad core android phone.
    What matters is that there are 270,000+ apps built specifically for it, and despite not having the latest CPU it’s compatible with every single one of those apps. And it will be updated for at least two years.
    For that reason, I think it’s a pretty decent product.

    • Dro

      You know a majority of these iOS tablet apps have to be specifically redesigned because they don’t scale up properly from their iPhone counterparts. Android apps can be designed such that one app can display properly on a tiny phone screen to a large screen without any of it being a “blown up” version of the smaller screen app (ie. the UI elements won’t get messed up while displaying more content on a bigger screen).

  • 0defaced

    beginning of the end?

  • Justin

    Small Tablets,

    If it doesn’t fit in my inside jacket pocket…

    they blew it.

  • Brayden

    So pay am extra 100 something bucks to get something with lower specs and no innovation.. can someone explain to me the logic of getting this so called “new thing”

  • Maddy

    The strange thing is the entry level iPad mini is only priced $29.00 more than the entry level 5th gen iPod touch. Granted the memory on the touch is twice that of the mini, the mini looks like it is more of a threat to the touch. Aside from the screen size it is more or less the iPad2 that can be got for $70 more. I have a 4gen touch and was looking at upgrading to a 5gen but the price point differential between it and the mini have made me reconsider.

  • Iloveapple

    who needs inovation when you got marketing

    • phreezerburn

      From the land that started off with MTV’s Real World and Gerry Springer and took it all the way to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, no surprise.

  • Peter

    Fortunately for many of you, you don’t actually have to buy one.
    Fortunately for Apple, many will actually want to buy one.

  • Jlan

    Based on the specification and price, I believe ipad mini is only for no-brain, however, there are always quite some no-brains around to make Apple the more profitable biz in the world.

  • Skarphace

    Not even close: Nexus 7—> Faster processor, better resolution screen, cheaper and the ecosystem is perfectly fine for most of the population (who really subscribes to magazines or pays for music through the online stores?)

  • jaydee77ca

    Talk about tax… Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t iPad owners forced to buy all those tablet versions of the apps they already have on their iPhone? I can buy my Android app once and install and use it on any and all of my tablets and phones.

  • Redheadednomad

    Nope. You said it yourself: it’s priced too close to the standard iPad (which will drop in price now that the 6 month update has been released). It’s standard Apple procedure: in 6 months they’ll release another one with LTE and laugh harder at the fools who bought the first one.

    Nexus wins this one – a solid, budget tablet with an app store that improves daily and way more flexibility.

    • Kostas Kritsilas

      LTE is already out, as part of the original announcement.

      Please show me, as of today, a Nexus 7 with cellular capability. Not that I believe that anybody should be buying a tablet with cellular capability, as I believe that it is far better to get a mobile hotspot. or to hotspot off a smartphone, but some people want that capability.

      Apple updated the iPad3 to the iPad 4 to get it onto the Lightning connector to fit within the rest of the iOS device line up. They upgraded the CPU because it is finally available, and it wasn’t when the iPad3 was launched. There is enough financial margin in the iPad 4 to allow the use of an A6X CPU, so they added it while revising the motherboard to take the Lightning connector.

      Kostas

  • Frederick

    I don’t agree that Apple is the only way. I think Microsoft is offering a lot with these new Windows 8 RT tablets. I like that IE10 supports flash, and you can install firefox and chrome. Launch RT apps include Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Skype, Netflix, Hulu & various Xbox Games. In addition to this, each Microsoft Surface comes with Office 2013. Value proposition seems pretty good.

  • TouchMyBox

    Someone tell me if I’m an anomaly, but I find myself downloading a bunch of apps only to never use them. Pretty much everything I use on my mobile devices come pre-installed on the device. A browser, google maps, youtube, a video player, a reading app and that’s about it. I generally stay far away from any media with any DRM so content ecosystems don’t really bother me.

    I just end up feeling a little alien when I hear bloggers and radio DJs giving out free advertisements gushing about how apple revolutionized the the market by taking 2 inches and a couple bucks off of an 18 month old iPad 2.

  • Matthew

    Have people forgotten about the PLAYBOOK!? It’s 32GB version is $149!! AND it plays android apps..

    • Kostas Kritsilas

      I have a Playbook, and like it, but it is in no way competitive with either a Nexus 7 or an iPad Mini. “it plays Android apps” is an extreme exaggeration. It play SOME Android apps, but most definitely doesn’t play all of them. Anywhere from 33-40% of the ones I have tried to install actually work properly. The remainder fail in a number of creatie ways, from locking up the unit, to just sitting there with (usually) a white screen, and freezing, forcing me to close them.

      The Playbook is a non-force until such time as Blackberry can get thier issues straightened out. The $149 is not a reflection of value, but a symbol of complete disinterest from the public, and by all appearances, the developer community and RIM themselves.

      Kostas

  • Peter

    Remember when Apple introduced the iPod Mini and everyone got their panties in a twist because, “OMG, I can get a regular iPod with 4x the capacity for only $50 more!” It’s like deja-vu all over again, and people are still missing the point.

  • Shane

    “There are thousands of Canadians who are, and will continue to be, willing to forgo the immediacy of this content to avoid being locked into Apple’s ecosystem.”

    He thinks there’s only “thousands” of Canadians who avoid Apple. Really?

    “After all, much of it is inaccessible from anywhere but an Apple product.”

    Like Apple Maps. Oh what I would do for Apple Maps.

  • MattyMattMatt

    This was a terrible article and you should feel ashamed for having written it.

  • jihnjacibs

    Paying 40% more then the competition on price but receiving less in terms of technical specs because apple has more ways to give them more money is not justification for paying more.

    Apple: we are charging you more money for the device because we have more ways for you to buy over priced content from us since we don’t allow you to transfer content unless it’s through our proprietary iTunes software unlike our competitors who you can buy content from anywhere and put on the device with ease.

    If mobile syrup believes paying more money just to pay more money is justifiable then they should not be running a site that informs consumers on electronics.

    • Scott

      I agree with jihnjacibs 100% but I think most readers are missing the point of the article.

      In Canada, the iTunes vs Amazon vs Google vs Microsoft content race is no contest. The average joe-consumer is not setting up a VPN, so for pure quantity, Apple wins hands down.

      Hardware aside, that’s a ‘tax’ I’m willing to pay. Maybe someday the Netflix’s of the world will level the playing field, but we’re not there yet.

    • phreezerburn

      Scott, Canadians were teaching Americans about IRC long before “Beer Good…Napster Bad”. We’re not buying everything from Itunes in any way, shape or form.

  • Mathieu

    “While there are 275,000 iPad-compatible apps, all of which will run without modification on the iPad mini, there are only a handful of Android tablet apps that have been adapted with care”
    A handful? ARE YOU F*CK*NG KIDING ME?
    We’re in 2012, Google himself has more than a handful Android apps optimized for tablets.
    There are plenty enough Android apps optimized tablets if you take times to digg around the Google Play store.
    Of course, the official Facebook, Twitter, Skype… apps are crap, but that’s no news and we all know why.

    • Jack

      I agree. That was Tim Cook rhetoric but not really true.

    • bulletwithbatwings

      The “android tablets have no apps” argument is getting really lame. I have 3 pages of great apps running on my Note 10.1- all full tablet apps, all great, and more than enough to fill all my needs. Games are equally available (see: Gameloft ,Glu, EA, etc.) and they all run much nicer on a 16:9 screen. I have 15 pen apps including excellent pressure sensitivity (Layer Paint and TVPaint stand out). I have a ton of productivity apps, to the point I don’t even use many of them. Comic books look great and fit perfectly on a 16:9 screen and there are a ton of apps for that. Video (because of the aspact ratio and file managing), internet (because of flash) and maps (obvious) are all significantly better on an android tablet. Do I need to continue??

  • snardos

    I didn’t realize there was an issue with content for android. I have been able to download and consume any content I have wanted. Also any app that I have tried on my 10″ tablet has looked perfectly fine. Phone apps scale without any issues. Why do you need to remake apps for the tablet when the current ones work?

    • John

      By anywhere you meant pirated contented?
      And for the phone scaled applications. Yes there is no need to have a tablet version of it if the developer just going to use the same phone interface. Think of this many android devices are in 4″ to 4.2″ screen size with a resolution of 720p. But most tablet are in the 7″ to 10″ size with 720p resolution. Although the pixel doesn’t change, the actual size did so for developer doing app for tablet, they could make better use of the extra space they have and at the same time improve on user interface isntead of just scalling the 4″ screen application into a 10″ screen

  • bassbeast

    Really? Justified? Are you kidding me? The amount of BS that was spewed at the conference about the mini was absolutely mindblowing.

    My favourite part was when Schiller was talking about how much more screen space there was. (“Let’s get rid of all the extra fluff,” he says, taking into account the software buttons; evidently the man has never used a Nexus 7 long enough to understand full-screen mode…) I love how when you add in the .5 inches of software buttons and compare sizes of a 7- and 7.9-inch screen that – GASP! – you have more screen real estate! To be filed under “Well, duh!” Of course, mathematically, that’s bigger!

    What they failed to mention is the absolutely abysmal 167dpi resolution of the mini (compared to the 216 of the N7), the reduced colour gamut of the screen as well as two-year old processor. I have an iPad 2 and a N7. My N7 gets a hell of a lot more use nowadays. While I wish the bezel were a little smaller, this is the way to do a one-handed tablet.

    • John

      It was Apple’s show to tell people why their product is better. Do you think Apple or any other company would tell people information that they do not want people to know?

      Their purpose is to sell the iPad Mini to people not to do a side by side comparison and telling consumer that, “Oh, Nexus does this better while the iPad Mini does this better”.

  • d3v14n7

    How is Apple’s $130 premium over superior devices already on the market justified? Once again, Apple’s reality distortion field is in full force… Most of the crap they spewed out at the conference was pure BS, and yet, iDi0ts swallowed it up… How utterly ignorant, misinformed and just plain dumb are people these days? With the vast knowledge everyone has available to them these days on the internet, how can so many people be so clueless? It seriously makes me sick to see so many willfully ignorant people out there, it really is a sad sight to see…

  • hmmmm

    Who cares about APPS??? I own a tablet just to pass time at work and on the bus at times. I rather listen to music or movies taken from my pc or just browse the internet on it, no need to spend 10 hrs a day on useless apps or games for kids! Don’t you see it’s just a way to make money, no wonder Apple is so good at selling them…tons of useless apps sold for millions of dollars, it’s incredible.

  • HighClassFrenchCricket

    This article has been funded by Apple, and the comment ratings have been manipulated by mobilesyrup. Absolutely disgusting.

  • bob

    lol
    The Apple tax is even less justified on this product than on others, such as the 10″ iPad or laptops.

  • Simian

    I am counting the days till either Google or Amazon expands it’s music offering to CDN. While RDIO is great for a lot of things I still need to hit up iTunes for some album purchases.
    The s**t talking about Apple PR is pretty indicative that they’re on the defensive which is a good thing for everyone.

  • Chris

    The price feels wrong. If it was below 300 I would have been have been happier getting one for a family member, but it’s too close to the cost of an ipad 2. Now if I had been planning to get someone an ipod touch, then things would be different.

  • Craig

    what a joke

  • relevant84

    Let’s be real here, how many Canadians have never downloaded a movie, some music or a TV show through some kind of file sharing program? The idea that we need to buy into a content-access war is silly, I wouldn’t buy content from Amazon OR iTunes if I HAD the option, since I know I can get it elsewhere for free, and it’s not limited by a manufacturer.

  • MER1978

    “There’s another reason to pay for the Apple tax this time: content.”

    Actually I think that’s precisely why Canadians shouldn’t be buying Apple… it is completely unacceptable that one company has access to more content (it doesn’t produce) for re-sale than anyone else.

  • vn33

    Is tax ever justified ? Least of all coming from an arrogant company ??

  • Mark H

    Anybody who buys this tablet is a fool period and that’s based on Apple’s own update and hardware schedule. The mini is essentially a scaled down iPad 2, which is currently 2 generations behind the bleeding edge of Apple Tech. Its usually at that point that you start to lose functionality with each iOS update effectively making this thing obsolete already.

    This sucker was rushed out to take advantage of the holiday rush and I’m willing to bet a retina A6 (or A6X) based Mini will be out in 6-9 months.

  • drone

    Lol that’s funny. Do you fools even realize that the supposed beast of a tablet, Asus Optimus prime tablet got outclassed in the benchmarks on Anandtech by the iPad 2.let alone the iPad 3….so don’t get your hopes up

  • Pat

    So we should all just give up and let Apple win the entire market?

    No. I’ll take some ‘not enough app’ pain for the pure and simple joy of being able to surf the net while on the couch without paying a cent to apple.

    Angry Birds and Minecraft there? I’m good.

  • Jacob

    ROFL, you guys must be nuts if you think Apple will price its product to compete with google. What did you guys expect? Same price as nexus 7? lol Even if Apple did price itself competitively, you android herds would just laugh at Apple and calling it a copy cat. Sigh, mobile syrup really is dominated by android fanboys.

  • MapleHamwich

    This article is not precise or well written enough. It’s scope should focus on the supposed justification for the extra price, but it waggles back and forth between specification, content and content providers.

    I can understand MobileSyrup wanting to write an article about the content provider landscape in Canada. It is a valid issue. However, their attempt was very poor. The content landscape doesn’t justify a more expensive piece of Apple hardware. The content landscape proves that the CRTC and various regulatory laws are imbalanced and need to be changed. A kind of monopoly exists in the Apple apps/movie/music stores but Canada doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it.

    It’s all well and good to blame Amazon and Google for not having content in Canada, but it is a shallow and pathetic attempt at an argument. The real issue, if you take time to think critically, is what is preventing Amazon, Google and others from bringing content to Canada? As said above, take a look at the CRTC and regulatory laws in Canada and the US. It boils down to the same reason we don’t get many of the streaming or online purchasing (Like Amazon Digital Game Downloads) services available in the states.

    This is not an issue of “Apple has content in Canada so you should pay the premium.” This is an issue of Canada having backwards policies in place that promote monopoly like anti-competition for content providers in Canada. What does that mean for Apple v. Google? Get google, it is more open source and allows for any number of ways of accessing content. The same cannot be said for Apple. It’s still a stupid tax your article refers to MobileSyrup, I suppose that means you’re just too stupid to realize it.

  • Ilia

    Another piece of junk released by apple. They are down to 57% of tablet share world wide, lets see by the end of the year how bad they will do.

  • Big Ang

    Poorly written article.

    I still have no clue to what the writer was trying to say.

    Technical specs are not everything. If it was, then no one would pay more for an Apple device, as you can get similar specs anywhere else.

    There are 2 reasons why people buy Apple products: Either they made an educated decision and want an Apple product more than a non-Apple product (and are willing to pay more) or they are iSheep that just buy what their friends have.

    • phreezerburn

      The education you speak of is subjective. So much for guesswork… and people actually believe iOS is virus proof, crash proof and i***t proof.

  • cool

    price can’t be compared to nexus 7 because there is no profit made on the nexus. They’re selling it at the price it cost to make. This is so everyone can buy it, and google can collect more of your private data to sell.

  • imrangr1

    It’s funny how the author talks about Nexus 7 doesn’t have movies/book content purchasing from Google/Amazon. They forget how easily you can buy content from third parties and stream/download to Android. Also with a little tweak (no root required) you can run flash so there are even more options to stream content.

    I am so surprised how the iFans are still defend this iTurd of a device which sole purpose is to get simple minded people (read iFools) buying this overpriced of a device.

  • Al

    Vintage from Daniel Bader, Apple fanboy extraordinaire.

    Dunno how anyone with a brain could, with a straight face, post that the “apple tax” is justified. The device just about matches it’s competitors (nexus, kindle fire) but costs 60% more. 60!

    Justified? Time Mobilesyrup get rid of this clown commentator – he’s clueless.

  • Jacob

    guys, people will buy it because it’s APPLE.
    It’s like asking people why they buy MacBook when they can buy windows labtop? Especially when Windows are a heck of a lot cheaper with better specs?

    Maybe because people likes the operating system by Apple?

    It’s also like asking people why they buy an LV brand bag when they can buy a Coach brang bag?
    Because of the brand obviously.

    • Kostas Kritsilas

      I know this is going to sound crazy, but “better specs for less” only makes sense if the environments they are running in is identical. In the case of buying a MacBook Pro at $1200 vs. a 13″ PC laptop with “better specs” at $600, the MacBook will run faster, and more stable than the PC. It isn’t made of flimsy, flexible plastic, is is make out of a solid block of Alumium. The MacBook Pro has a better display, a far more usaable trackpad, and a backlit keyboard. It doesn’t have an OS that has more security holes than Sony’s Playstation web site. And if you should need to have it repaired, you go to the Apple store, where qualified Apple technicians work on the unit, vs. what passes for a tech at places like Best Buy or Future Shop (or even worse, the tech support people at Dell or HP). To some, that $600 difference is more important. To others, teh $600 is justified. Take your pick.

      Also, it may be worth keeping in mind that an OS upgrade on a Mac, from OSX 10.7 to 10.8 cost $30. An OS up grade for a PC (from Vista to Windows 7) is anywhere from about $120 (Home Premium) to $279 (Ultimate). And that $30 is for as many as 10 Macintosh machines, as opposed to Windows, which is paid for on each machine. I own 3 Macs, adn 3 Windows machines. Total upgrade cost for the 3 Macs was $30. Total for the 3 Windows machines would be approximately $400 (one copy of Vista Ultimate and one copy of Vista Home Premium, other machine was delivered with Windows 7, but had to be de-crappified before it could be considered to be usable).

      Kostas

  • yeow

    Jack, I can’t speak for a lot of devices but the note II has some serious multitasking software! Spit screen apps, video over lays, note taking Over lay.

    Quad cores officially matter now and should not be dismissed

  • Zippy

    OMG, the Fandroids are out today…
    One thing that most here don’t seem to comprehend or even want too is the fact that you are paying a premium for quality. I would much rather have better materials like an Aluminium backing that feel better than the cheap plastic that all the droids have.

    QUALITY peeps…

    But you don’t care, all you want to do is bash the hell out of Apple because its Apple. You really don’t care about the devices at all.

    Go buy your cheap Droids with cheap plastic ya cheap sob’s.

    Here comes the Trolling…

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