Apple exec Phil Schiller says the iPad is the most popular tablet around, and with the mini being even cheaper, it's sure to be a success.
Luke WestawaySenior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Apple exec Phil Schiller has defended the dismayingly high price of the iPad mini, saying it's cheaper than the hugely popular iPad, so it's sure to be a hit.
Speaking to Reuters, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing said, "The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category," going on to opine, "The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices (such as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire)."
For Apple, it seems, the fact that the iPad rules the world of tablets is proof positive that a smaller version will be a sure-fire hit. "Now you can get a device that's even more affordable at $329 in this great new form," Schiller said. "And I think a lot of customers are going to be very excited about that."
The iPad mini has received some stick for arriving with a price tag that's considerably higher than that of the Google Nexus 7. The iPad mini starts at £269 in the UK, while the 7-inch Android alternative can be yours for just £160. That's not a fact that's gone over the heads of our readers, who voted hugely in favour of Google's tablet in a recent poll.
Reading between the lines, Schiller's thinking seems to be that the iPad has so much momentum that the tech-buying masses will only see a cheaper model, and not that it's actually pretty pricey compared to other similarly sized tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
There's no denying the full-size iPad rules the tablet roost -- Tim Cook and pals boasted last night that 91 per cent of all tablet web traffic came via the iPad.
It's worth bearing in mind, though, that when compared with the first wave of rival Android tablets that failed to make an impact, the iPad has actually always been competitively priced, with few decent alternatives measuring up price-wise.
Will the iPad mini enjoy the same success as its big brother? I've no doubt it'll be popular, but perhaps not quite as popular as it could be. Stick your predictions in the comments or on our Facebook wall.
Watch this: CNET News iPad mini and new Macs launch